A protective Genetically Attenuated P. Falciparum Sporozoite Vaccine
Attenuated vaccines, composed of weakened organisms incapable of causing disease, provide prolonged exposure to antigens and have proven effective against several viral or bacterial diseases. Dr. Kappe’s team is attempting to extend this concept to a malaria vaccine. In the case of malaria, disease develops when the malaria sporozoite – the form of the parasite that is transmitted from mosquitoes to humans – enters the bloodstream and moves to the liver. There, it grows and divides into thousands of parasites that invade and destroy red blood cells, causing disease. Dr. Kappe's team is working toward development of a malaria vaccine using a malaria sporozoite that has been weakened by gene deletion to stimulate immune response.