JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV BALTIMORE MD BALTIMORE United States
Malaria, caused by parasites of the genus Plasmodium, causes between 500,000 and 1,000,000 deaths per year, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria additionally poses a significant threat to US service personnel serving in Africa and elsewhere. No satisfactory malaria vaccine exists. Therefore, the long-term objective of the project is to assess the promise of a novel immunization technology termedvectored-immunoprophylaxis VIP in inducing immunity to malaria caused by P. falciparum. VIP employs adeno associated virus AAV derived vectors to deliver genes encoding protective monoclonal antibodies to animals. Mice transduced by VIP vectors engineered to produce monoclonal antibodies against the P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein CSP protect mice from infection by a rodent parasite that expresses P. falciparum CSP. The specific aims of this study are to optimize the VIP system for use in the Aotus nancymaae nonhuman primate model of P. falciparum infection and to assess the efficacy of VIP in protecting Aotus from P. falciparum infection.