A pathway to a live-attenuated whole parasite malaria vaccine

Year of award: 2020


  • Dr Jake Baum

    Imperial College London, United Kingdom

Project summary

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.