Global Warming Heats Up Need for Malaria Vaccine - Pharmaceutical Technology

Latest Issue
PharmTech

Latest Issue
PharmTech Europe

Global Warming Heats Up Need for Malaria Vaccine
With economics and politics in the way, can we defeat the malaria epidemic before it defeats us?


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 9, Issue 32, pp. 114113

Unlike viruses and bacteria, the Plasmodium genome encompasses more than 6000 genes encoding hundreds of surface antigens, many of which could serve as vaccine targets. Unlike most pathogens, which display a finite and characteristic set of surface antigens, Plasmodium varies its antigens, similar to the way human beings change their hair color. Finally, the parasite occurs in a wide variety of strains, each with its own unique antigenic components.

Experts believe that a successful malaria vaccine must target the two principal forms of the Plasmodium parasite: sporozoites, the stage present immediately after the mosquito bite, and merozoites, which are released from infected liver cells and cause typical malaria symptoms such as fever and anemia.

An ideal malaria vaccine must be inexpensive enough to administer to a billion (or more) at-risk individuals, and should be stable without refrigeration but robust in its ability to treat all strains, including those that may emerge during epidemics in northern climates.

Mymetics is one of the companies exploring this two-pronged approach, which ideally will induce protection at both stages by preventing sporozoites from infecting the liver cells where they mature into highly infectious merozoites, and preventing merozoites from infecting red blood cells where they propagate and cause disease.

With one death every 30 seconds, malaria remains one of humankind's deadliest diseases, which climate change could make even worse. Regardless of one's position on global warming, a vaccine is our best hope to rid the world of this scourge once and for all.

Sylvain Fleury is chief scientific officer at Mymetics, European Office, 14, rue de la Colombière, Nyon, Switzerland, tel. +41.21.692.57.75,
.

Reference

1. M. Pascual et al., "Malaria Resurgence in the East African Highlands: Temperature Trends Revisited," Proceed. of the Nation. Acad. of Scien., 103 (15) 5829–5834 (2006).


ADVERTISEMENT

blog comments powered by Disqus
LCGC E-mail Newsletters

Subscribe: Click to learn more about the newsletter
| Weekly
| Monthly
|Monthly
| Weekly

Survey
Which of the following business challenge poses the greatest threat to your company?
Building a sustainable pipeline of products
Attracting a skilled workforce
Obtaining/maintaining adequate financing
Regulatory compliance
Building a sustainable pipeline of products
27%
Attracting a skilled workforce
27%
Obtaining/maintaining adequate financing
14%
Regulatory compliance
32%
View Results
Eric Langer Outsourcing Outlook Eric LangerBiopharma Outsourcing Activities Update
Cynthia Challener, PhD Ingredients Insider Cynthia Challener, PhDAppropriate Process Design Critical for Commercial Manufacture of Highly Potent APIs
Jill Wechsler Regulatory Watch Jill Wechsler FDA and Manufacturers Seek a More Secure Drug Supply Chain
Sean Milmo European Regulatory WatchSean MilmoQuality by Design?Bridging the Gap between Concept and Implementation
Report: Pfizer Makes $101 Billion Offer to AstraZeneca
Medicare Payment Data Raises Questions About Drug Costs
FDA Wants You!
A New Strategy to Tackle Antibiotic Resistance
Drug-Diagnostic Development Stymied by Payer Concerns
Source: Pharmaceutical Technology,
Click here