A pathway to a live-attenuated whole parasite malaria vaccine
Dr Jake Baum
Imperial College London, United Kingdom
Malaria kills half a million children each year. Despite decades of investment, there is still noefficacious vaccine. To date, the best protection achieved against malaria came from injecting volunteers with live parasites, attenuated so they don't cause disease. However, translation of this approach has performed poorly in field trials, largely because of the laborious nature of isolating pure parasites from mosquitoes, a process that requires skilled manual dissection. We have developed a revolutionary, dissection-independent process for malaria parasite isolation, extracting them from thousands of pulverised, infected mosquitoes. This scalable method produces pure, highly-infectious parasites that offer robust immune protection. Here we propose to advance this technology into a pipeline for parasite purification, vaccineformulation and vaccine production that has potential for good manufacturing production. By reducing costs and improving the effectiveness of whole-parasite vaccines we aim to reinvigorate malaria vaccinology providing a pathway for protecting children from disease.