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Vaccine. 2006 Oct 30;24(42-43):6483-92. Epub 2006 Jul 3.

Pre-clinical evaluation of new adjuvant formulations to improve the immunogenicity of the malaria vaccine RTS,S/AS02A.

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Department of Immunology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, USA.



RTS,S/AS02A, a pre-erythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum vaccine based upon the circumsporozoite protein, is the only vaccine demonstrated in field trials to confer partial protection against a range of malaria disease manifestations. Pre-clinical studies are on-going to identify new RTS,S formulations with improved magnitude and duration of specific immunity.


Rhesus macaques were immunized with saline or one of four "RTS,S/adjuvant" formulations at 0, 4, and 12 weeks: RTS,S/AS01B, RTS,S/AS02A-standard (current formulation), RTS,S/AS05 or RTS,S/AS06. An RTS,S/AS02A-accelerated group was immunized at 0, 1, and 4 weeks. Outcomes were safety, RTS,S-specific antibody, and IFN-gamma and IL-5 ELISpots (weeks 14 and 34).


All regimens were safe and, except for RTS,S/AS06, generated equivalent high titer antibody levels. For IFN-gamma ELISpots, RTS,S/AS01B had the highest geometric mean (GM) values at weeks 14 and 34, and was the only group with an overall GM mean (weeks 14+34) higher than RTS,S/AS02A-standard (p<0.015). For IFN-gamma to IL-5 ELISpot response ratios, RTS,S/AS01B had the highest values at weeks 14 and 34, and was the only group higher than RTS,S/AS02A-standard at each individual time point and overall (weeks 14+34) (p<0.015).


RTS,S/AS01B is a safe and immunogenically superior formulation for cellular responses, in comparison with the RTS,S/AS02A-standard. Phase 1, 2a, and 2b clinical trials are underway to determine if RTS,S/AS01B demonstrates improved immunogenicity and protective efficacy against experimental challenge and natural mosquito-borne malaria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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