Sunday September 23, 2018

An international research team shows that carbohydrates may play a vital role in improving malaria vaccine

Malaria infects over 200 million people worldwide each year and kills around 650,000 people

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Malaria vaccine
Carbohydrates may improve malaria vaccine. Pixabay
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  • Carbohydrates on the surface of malaria parasites play an important role in their ability to infect mosquito Andy human hosts
  • The new research is aimed at improving malaria vaccine design
  • It’s hoped that a version of RTS, S with added carbohydrates will perform better than the current vaccine

New Delhi, September 18, 2017: Offering vital clues to improving malaria vaccine, an international research team has shown that carbohydrates on the surface of malaria parasites play a critical role in their ability to infect mosquito and human hosts.

The discovery, published in the journal Nature Communications, also suggests steps that may improve the only malaria vaccine approved to protect people against Plasmodium falciparum malaria — the most deadly form of the disease.

The team had shown that the malaria parasite “tags” its proteins with carbohydrates in order to stabilise and transport them and that this process was crucial to completing the parasite’s life cycle.

“Interfering with the parasite’s ability to attach these carbohydrates to its proteins hinders liver infection and transmission to the mosquito and weakens the parasite to the point that it cannot survive in the host,” said Justin Boddey from Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Malaria infects over 200 million people worldwide each year and kills around 650,000 people, predominantly pregnant women and children. Efforts to eradicate malaria require the development of new therapeutics, particularly an effective malaria vaccine.

Also readNearly 900,000 Nigerian Children Receive Anti-Malaria Vaccination: WHO Report

The first malaria vaccine approved for human use — RTS,S/AS01 — got the nod of the European regulators in July 2015 but has not been as successful as hoped with marginal efficacy that wanes over time.

The new research is aimed at improving malaria vaccine design.

“The protein used in the RTS, S vaccine mimics one of the proteins we’ve been studying on the surface of the malaria parasite that is readily recognised by the immune system,” Ethan Goddard-Borger from Walter and Eliza Hall Institute said.

“With this study, we’ve shown that the parasite protein is tagged with carbohydrates, making it slightly different to the vaccine, so the antibodies produced may not be optimal for recognising target parasites.”

“It may be that a version of RTS, S with added carbohydrates will perform better than the current vaccine,” he said, adding that there were many documented cases where attaching carbohydrates to a protein improved its efficacy as a vaccine. (IANS)

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Here Comes The New Acne Vaccine

Future studies will address these factors and focus on engineering a non-toxic chemical or targeted vaccine formulation for its human application, the researchers said

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Acne
New vaccine to offer treatment for acne. Pixabay

Do you often suffer from acne? Take heart, a potential vaccine that targets the bacterial toxins may soon be on the anvil, say researchers.

Instead of invading pathogens, the new vaccine would be the first to target bacteria already in human skin.

The researchers demonstrated that antibodies to a toxin secreted from bacteria in acne vulgaris can reduce inflammation in human acne lesions.

“Once validated by a large-scale clinical trial, the potential impact of our findings is huge for the hundreds of millions of individuals suffering from acne vulgaris,” explained lead investigator Chun-Ming Huang, from the University of California-San Diego, US.

An acne vaccination could circumvent potential adverse effects of topical or systemic retinoids and antibiotics, the current treatment options.

acne
Instead of invading pathogens, the new vaccine would be the first to target bacteria already in human skin. Pixabay

They found that Christie-Atkins-Munch-Peterson (CAMP) factor — a toxin secreted from the Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria, can induce inflammatory responses.

In the study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, the team explored in mice and ex vivo in human skin cells whether they could inhibit inflammation by employing antibodies to neutralise this virulence factor.

Their findings show that the application of monoclonal antibodies to CAMP 2 factor did indeed decrease the inflammatory response.

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“While addressing an unmet medical need and providing an appealing approach, acne immunotherapies that target P. acnes-derived factors have to be cautiously designed to avoid unwanted disturbance of the microbiome that guarantees skin homeostasis,” said Emmanuel Contassot, from the University of Zurich in Switzerland.

Future studies will address these factors and focus on engineering a non-toxic chemical or targeted vaccine formulation for its human application, the researchers said. (IANS)