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<jats:p>Despite recent advances in treatment and vector control, malaria is still a leading cause of death, emphasizing the need for an effective vaccine. The malaria life cycle can be subdivided into three stages: the invasion and growth within liver hepatocytes (pre-erythrocytic stage), the blood stage (erythrocytic stage), and, finally, the sexual stage (occurring within the mosquito vector). Antigen (Ag)-specific CD8<jats:sup>+</jats:sup> T cells are effectively induced by heterologous prime-boost viral vector immunization and known to correlate with liver-stage protection. However, liver-stage malaria vaccines have struggled to generate and maintain the high numbers of <jats:italic>Plasmodium</jats:italic>-specific circulating T cells necessary to confer sterile protection. We describe an alternative “prime and target” vaccination strategy aimed specifically at inducing high numbers of tissue-resident memory T cells present in the liver at the time of hepatic infection. This approach bypasses the need for very high numbers of circulating T cells and markedly increases the efficacy of subunit immunization against liver-stage malaria with clinically relevant Ags and clinically tested viral vectors in murine challenge models. Translation to clinical use has begun, with encouraging results from a pilot safety and feasibility trial of intravenous chimpanzee adenovirus vaccination in humans. This work highlights the value of a prime-target approach for immunization against malaria and suggests that this strategy may represent a more general approach for prophylaxis or immunotherapy of other liver infections and diseases.</jats:p>

Original publication

DOI

10.1126/scitranslmed.aap9128

Type

Journal article

Journal

Science Translational Medicine

Publisher

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Publication Date

26/09/2018

Volume

10

Pages

eaap9128 - eaap9128