Project: Research project

Project Details


The transmission of malaria parasites by Anopheles mosquitoes presents
a serious obstacle for effective malaria control. In areas of Africa
where Plasmodium falciparum malaria is endemic, residents typically
receive from 1 to greater than 1,000 bites per year from infective
mosquitoes. Much of the geographic and seasonal variation in the
incidence of malaria in humans is determined by the dynamics of vector
populations. Available methods of drug treatment and vector control are
ineffective for eliminating infection and disease due to malaria.
Integral to the development of multi-stage vaccines against malaria is
the need for expanded research on transmission-blocking vaccines.
Current efforts to develop transmission-blocking vaccines specific for
stages of malaria parasites that occur in the vector need to be
complemented by research on anti-vector vaccines for killing mosquitoes
and vaccines that target essential mosquito-related interactions with
sporogonic-stage parasites. Specifically for Africa, an anti-vector
vaccine is biologically relevant because the major vectors in the
Anopheles gambiae complex and Anopheles funestus feed primarily (greater
than 90 percent) on humans. A potent mosquito-killing vaccine could
be devastating to local vectors because they typically blood-feed every
2 to 3 days, and have a lifetime potential for feeding on 10 or more
humans. This Competing Continuation seeks practical solutions for
blocking malaria parasite transmission at the level of the vector. The
specific aims of the proposal are: 1) to employ phage-display
recombinant antibody screening strategies in identifying candidate
antigens and epitopes in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes for the
development of vaccines to directly kill vector species of mosquitoes,
2) to identify candidate antigens and epitopes in oocysts of Plasmodium
falciparum parasites for the development of transmission-blocking
vaccines, 3) to identify factors influencing the survival and
infectivity of sporozoites in mosquitoes, and 4) to determine the
influence of the mosquito midgut environment and associated microflora
on the early stages of sporogonic development. Overall, the plan
emphasizes biologically relevant solutions to the problems of malaria
and involves research linkages with programs on malaria vectors and
transmission in Africa.
Effective start/end date4/1/983/31/01


  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases


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