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Whole-parasite malaria vaccine shows promise in University of Maryland School of Medicine clinical trial
Date:9/9/2011

e against just certain strains. Whole parasite vaccines have seemed unattainable because of the many challenges of large-scale production and preservation of whole parasites, which can only be produced by infecting mosquitoes with malaria-infected blood. Using mosquitoes raised in aseptic conditions, Sanaria Inc. developed a unique large-scale production and cryopreservation process, allowing the parasite to be frozen, shipped to remote locations and safely thawed.

Dr. Lyke collaborated with fellow University of Maryland School of Medicine scientists including Matthew B. Laurens, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of pediatrics and medicine, and Christopher Plowe, M.D., professor of medicine, epidemiology and public health and microbiology and immunology and leader of the Malaria Group at the School of Medicine. Dr. Plowe is also a Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Robert Edelman, M.D., clinical professor of medicine and pediatrics at the School of Medicine, also contributed to the paper. The group co-authored the study with colleagues from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and the biotechnology firm Protein Potential LLC.

The parasite used in the vaccine is a sporozoite, an early life-cycle stage of the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, the most dangerous type of malaria parasite. The sporozoite is carried in the salivary glands of a mosquito, where it infects a human through the mosquito's bite. The sporozoites used in the vaccine were rendered harmless when Sanaria's manufacturing team administered radiation to the mosquitoes carrying the parasites. The radiation leaves the sporozoites incapable of reproducing and incapable of causing malaria once the human is bitten. Instead, the sporozoite is intended to stimulate the body's immune response, creating immunity to malaria.

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Contact: Karen Robinson
karobinson@som.umaryland.edu
410-706-7590
University of Maryland Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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