Article: article from journal or magazin.
Malaria vaccine candidate: design of a multivalent subunit α-helical coiled coil poly-epitope.
A new strategy for the rapid identification of new malaria antigens based on protein structural motifs was previously described. We identified and evaluated the malaria vaccine potential of fragments of several malaria antigens containing α-helical coiled coil protein motifs. By taking advantage of the relatively short size of these structural fragments, we constructed different poly-epitopes in which 3 or 4 of these segments were joined together via a non-immunogenic linker. Only peptides that are targets of human antibodies with anti-parasite in vitro biological activities were incorporated. One of the constructs, P181, was well recognized by sera and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of adults living in malaria-endemic areas. Affinity purified antigen-specific human antibodies and sera from P181-immunized mice recognised native proteins on malaria-infected erythrocytes in both immunofluorescence and western blot assays. In addition, specific antibodies inhibited parasite development in an antibody dependent cellular inhibition (ADCI) assay. Naturally induced antigen-specific human antibodies were at high titers and associated with clinical protection from malaria in longitudinal follow-up studies in Senegal.
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