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J Infect Dis. 2009 Mar 15;199(6):899-903.

Vaccine-like immunity against malaria by repeated causal-prophylactic treatment of liver-stage Plasmodium parasites.

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1Department of Parasitology, Heidelberg University School of Medicine, Heidelberg, Germany.


Liver-stage development of Plasmodium parasites represents a dramatic expansion phase for the malarial parasite between vector transmission and onset of the pathogenic blood-stage cycle. Here, we report that repeated causal-prophylactic primaquine treatment of liver-stage Plasmodium parasites in rodents elicits vaccine-like protective immunity against sporozoite-induced malaria. This regimen differs fundamentally from those involving radiation- or genetically attenuated parasites, in which long-lasting immune responses are dependent on persistence of metabolically active parasites. Pharmacological inhibition of liver-stage parasites in the rodent malaria model offers a potential fast track toward development of a vaccine that targets parasites in preerythrocytic stages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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