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Vaccine. 2011 Aug 11;29(35):5940-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.06.053. Epub 2011 Jun 29.

Cellular and humoral immune effector mechanisms required for sterile protection against sporozoite challenge induced with the novel malaria vaccine candidate CelTOS.

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Division of Malaria Vaccine Development, US Military Malaria Vaccine Program, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, 503 Robert Grant Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA.


The malarial protein CelTOS, for cell-traversal protein for ookinetes and sporozoites, from Plasmodium berghei has been shown to mediate malarial invasion of both vertebrate and insect host cells and is required for establishing their successful infections. In the vertebrate host, Plasmodium sporozoites traverse via a complex passage through cellular barriers in the skin and the liver sinusoid to infect hepatocytes. Induction of immunity targeted to molecules involved in sporozoite motility and migration into hepatocytes may lead to abrogation of hepatocyte infection. We have previously demonstrated the potential of CelTOS as a target antigen for a pre-erythrocytic vaccine. The objective of the current study was to determine the potency of different vaccine platforms to induce protective immunity and determine the mode of action in protective immune responses. To this end, inbred Balb/c and outbred ICR mice were immunized with either the recombinant protein adjuvanted with Montanide ISA-720 or with a pCI-TPA plasmid encoding the P. berghei CelTOS (epidermal delivery by gene-gun) and assessed for the induction of protective responses against a homologous P. berghei challenge. Humoral and cellular immune responses induced by the various immunization regimens were evaluated in an effort to establish immune correlates. The results confirm that the CelTOS antigen is a potentially interesting pre-erythrocytic vaccine candidate and demonstrate that both arms of the adaptive immune system are required to mediate complete sterile protection against sporozoite challenge.

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