APR 15, 2018 03:27 AM PDT

Monoclonal Antibody May Serve as Treatment for Malaria

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A study published in Nature Medicine examines a monoclonal antibody isolated from the blood of individuals vaccinated for malaria and its potential role in preventing infection from tropical diseases.

Malaria is a life-threatening blood disease that is caused by the Plasmodium parasite and transmitted to humans through Anopheles mosquito bite.

After an infected mosquito bites a human, the parasites will multiply in the host's liver where it can infect and destroy red blood cells. Ina few places, malaria can be treated and controlled under early diagnosis, however, not all countries have the resources to do this effectively. At the present moment, no vaccine has been approved for use in the United States or globally, although one is licensed in Europe. Now, only a single malaria vaccine, known as RTS,S, has moved on to Phase 3 clinical trials.

 

The goal was to identify a binding site on circumsporozoite (CSP), which is a protein found on the surface of the malaria parasite. The antibody that was identified was CIS43 and it’s believed thought that it could be of protection from malaria for up to six months, which shows improvement over existing preventative malarial drugs.

 

The researched team began their studies by testing the blood of individuals immunized with an experimental malaria vaccine, PfSPZ, which includes weakened malarial parasites. The blood test resulted in the identification of the antibody in question, CIS43 which “conferred high-level, sterile protection in two different mouse models of malaria infection,” noted the authors in their study “The affinity and stoichiometry of CIS43 binding to PfCSP indicate that there are two sequential multivalent binding events encompassing the repeat domain. The first binding event is to a unique 'junctional' epitope positioned between the N terminus and the central repeat domain of PfCSP. Moreover, CIS43 prevented proteolytic cleavage of PfCSP on PfSPZ. Analysis of crystal structures of the CIS43 antigen-binding fragment in complex with the junctional epitope determined the molecular interactions of binding, revealed the epitope's conformational flexibility and defined Asn-Pro-Asn (NPN) as the structural repeat motif.”

 

 

“The group used excellent structural and biophysical methods to analyze the binding of the antibody to the protein target in order to explain the antibodies’ neutralizing capacity,” explained Dr. Sean Murphy designer of the diagnostic tool used in the research study. “This is a big deal because neutralizing monoclonal antibodies have transformed the approach to HIV, and the possibility exists that they will do the same for malaria,” he added.

 

It is important to note that these studies where performed on animal models. Investigators hope that they can take these studies and move them a step up for a 2019 clinical trial.

 

Sources: Medical News Today, Drug Discovery News

About the Author
  • Nouran enjoys writing on various topics including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
OCT 24, 2018
Drug Discovery
OCT 24, 2018
Peptide Ruptures Viral Membrane of Zika Virus
According to a recent study at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), a newly engineered antiviral peptide will aim to attack the vir...
OCT 31, 2018
Cancer
OCT 31, 2018
Researchers identify a protein marker that induces dormancy in metastatic breast cancer
Researchers at the Mount Sinai hospital identified for the first time a protein marker that could indicate whether breast cancer will further metastasize or remains in a dormant state accordi...
NOV 21, 2018
Microbiology
NOV 21, 2018
Human Antibody That can Neutralize West Nile Virus is Found
In 1999, there were 62 cases of West Nile Virus in New York State. Since then it has spread around the United States....
DEC 09, 2018
Drug Discovery
DEC 09, 2018
Insect Venom Can Someday Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Infections
Insect venom, such as those secreted by wasps and bees, are considered an insect’s immune system defense because of its richness in bacterial killing...
JAN 01, 2019
Drug Discovery
JAN 01, 2019
Restoring The Fountain of Youth
According to a study published in Nature Communications, a drug treatment that aided the immune system in eradicating old cells in aging mice assisted in t...
FEB 01, 2019
Drug Discovery
FEB 01, 2019
Re-purposing Anti-rejection Drug for Liver Cancers
Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have identified a molecular pathway in liver that can allow an anti-rejection drug to be repu...
Loading Comments...