Navigation Links
ETH Zurich researchers develop antibody test

ETH Zurich professor Peter Seeberger has been working on a sugar-based malaria vaccine for years. The new test takes him one important step closer to his goal. The malaria pathogen plasmodium falciparum carries poisonous sugar molecules called GPIs for short on its surface that are able to be individually identified. Professor See-bergers research team is now developing a new method that demonstrates that the malaria pathogens toxic sugar molecules trigger a specific immune reaction in adults.

Antibodies in blood from malaria regions

Tests show that blood samples taken from adults living in areas of Africa where malaria is endemic contain specific antibodies against particular GPIs. While infection is still possible despite the antibodies, the consequences are less serious. The immune system recognizes the poisonous sugar molecules as foreign bodies and blocks their toxic impact. Not living in high-risk areas, Europeans lack the relevant antibodies. As soon as Europeans are infected with malaria, the number of antibodies increases significantly. Subsequently, there is a direct link between the amount of antibodies and protection against the disease.

Inexpensive detection

This insight is thanks to a novel method for detecting antibodies. Faustin Kamena, a post-doc in Professor Seebergers lab, has developed a special chip that can, inexpensively and with minute quantities of blood serum and sugar molecules, determine whether or not someone has formed particular antibodies against various GPIs. To this end, the researchers use the purest possible GPIs. These can be produced synthetically and in large amounts in a laboratory, as the Seeberger team has demonstrated in earlier research.

The new method involves affixing over 64 pads comprising pinpoint dots to glass slides. Every little pad consists of several tiny heaps of different GPIs in varying concentrations. When blood serum is then administered to such a pad, possible antibodies specifically bind to certain sugar molecules. Dyes then reveal to which GPIs the antibodies have attached themselves.

Help for infants

Thanks to the information obtained from the chip, scientists can produce the specific sugar molecules that the immune system has to recognize. The findings on natural re-sistance subsequently acquired are crucial to developing a sugar-based malaria vaccine. This could prove particularly beneficial to children in malaria-infested regions.

The millions of malaria sufferers are primarily infants under the age of five as only adults develop antibodies against the malaria pathogens sugars. An infants immune system is incapable of recognizing and combating the toxic sugar molecules. Consequently, a new, selective vaccine is now called for. Professor Seeberger states: This evidence is another important step towards finding a malaria vaccine because we now know which antibodies protect adults.


Contact: Peter Seeberger
ETH Zurich/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Related biology news :

1. ETH Zurich competence center ESC introduces energy strategy
2. New ETH Zurich article published in scientific journal Nature
3. ETH Zurich professor Ari Helenius awarded Benoist Prize
4. Image Solutions, Inc. Acquires Zurich Biostatistics, Inc.
5. Electronic structure of DNA revealed for 1st time by Hebrew University and collaborating researchers
6. Researchers offer new theory for dogfish and skate population outburst on Georges Bank
7. UCLA researchers solve decade-old mystery
8. Rats on islands disrupt ecosystems from land to sea, researchers find
9. Iowa State researchers help piece together the corn genomes first draft
10. U-M researchers release most detailed global study of genetic variation
11. LSU researchers challenge analyses on sustainability of Gulf fisheries
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/27/2015)... -- Munich, Germany , October ... automatically maps data from mobile eye tracking videos created ... that they can be quantitatively analyzed with SMI,s analysis ... , October 28-29, 2015. SMI,s Automated Semantic Gaze ... tracking videos created with SMI,s Eye Tracking Glasses ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... ALTO, Calif. and LAS VEGAS ... Nok Nok Labs , an innovator in modern ... Alliance , today announced the launch of its latest ... first unified platform enabling organizations to use standards-based authentication ... The Nok Nok S3 Authentication Suite is ideal for ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... GOLETA, California , October 23, 2015 ... Instruments (SMI) announce a mobile plug and play integration ... interactive real-world tasks SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) ... established wearable solutions for eye tracking and physiological data ... with SMI Eye Tracking Glasses 2w and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... Accutest Research Laboratories, a leading independent ... (CRO), has formed a strategic partnership ... Temple Health for joint work on ... ) , --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 Studies reveal ... human plaque and pave the way for more effective treatment ... cats     --> ... diagnosed health problems in cats, yet relatively little was understood ... collaborative studies have been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... DIEGO , Nov. 25, 2015 Orexigen® ... management will participate in a fireside chat discussion at ... New York . The discussion is scheduled ... .  A replay will be ... Media Contact:McDavid Stilwell  , Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ) today announced ... conference, and invited investors to participate via webcast. ... December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time ... December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern Time ... York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at ...
Breaking Biology Technology: