Using Common Freshwater Protozoa to Produce Malaria Vaccines
William Gordon and collaborators at Tetragenetics, Inc. in the U.S. propose using T. thermophilia, a fresh-water protozoa commonly used in basic research, to produce malaria antigens in a crystalline protein gel. The close evolutionary relationship between T. thermophilia and protozoan malaria parasites may allow the antigens to retain their natural conformation. In this way, multiple vaccine components can be readily harvested as a single, low-cost, high-potency vaccine formulation. This project's Phase I research demonstrated that T. thermophilia can be used to develop anti-malarial transmission blocking vaccines. In Phase II, Marco Cacciuttolo will lead a team of collaborators to further research the production and immune stimulating effects of multi-antigen and adjuvant formulations that could be used in a low-cost, long-lasting malaria vaccine.