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Impact of Helminths on Immunogenicity of the RTS,S Malaria Vaccine in Children

Simon Kariuki of the Kenya Medical Research Institute in Kenya will use an antibody platform to characterize children's immune responses to the new malaria vaccine to determine the impact of any accompanying infections. The WHO recently approved a new malaria vaccine that will mainly be deployed in sub-Saharan Africa. During its development, HIV-infected children were found to mount weaker immune responses. Helminth infections, which are prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, are also suspected to negatively impact vaccine efficacy. To test this, they will use an antibody-dynamics platform to assess the impact of helminths and other current or prior parasitic, bacterial, and viral infections on humoral and cellular immune responses following the 4th dose of the new malaria vaccine in two- to three-year-old children at six hospitals in western Kenya. This will help design more effective deployment strategies such as deworming before vaccination.

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