Journal article

Protection from experimental cerebral malaria with a single intravenous or subcutaneous whole-parasite immunization

Kirsten Heiss, Marion Irmgard Maier, Angelika Hoffmann, Roland Frank, Martin Bendszus, Ann-Kristin Mueller, Johannes Pfeil



Cerebral malaria is a life-threatening complication of Plasmodia infection and a major cause of child mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa. We report that protection from experimental cerebral malaria in the rodent model is obtained by a single intravenous or subcutaneous whole-parasite immunization. Whole-parasite immunization with radiation-attenuated sporozoites was equally protective as immunization with non-attenuated sporozoites under chemoprophylaxis. Both immunization regimens delayed the development of blood-stage parasites, but differences in cellular and humoral immune mechanisms were observed. Single-dose whole-parasite vaccination might serve as a relatively simple and feasible immun..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Miriam Reinig for mosquito breeding and the animal facility of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) for providing access to in vivo imaging facilities. We are grateful to Priyanka Fernandes, Friedrich Frischknecht (both University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany) and Bianca Schneider (Leibniz-Center for Medicine and Biosciences, Borstel, Germany) for critical comments and proofreading of the manuscript. Stefan Kappe and Brandon Sack (University Washington, Department of Global Health, USA) supported this work with experimental guidance. This work was supported by the German Society of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Padiatrische Infektiologie, DGPI) to JP. JP and MIM received funding from the German Centre for Infection Research (Deutsches Zentrum fur Infektionsforschung, DZIF). JP is the recipient of a HRCMM (Heidelberg Research Center for Molecular Medicine) Career Development Fellowship. AKM is a recipient of a Maternity Leave stipend by the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF). AH is supported by the Olympia-Morata Fellowship of the Medical Faculty of the University of Heidelberg.