Induction of Plasmodium falciparum transmission-blocking antibodies by recombinant vaccinia virus

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Science  31 May 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5010, pp. 1310-1313
DOI: 10.1126/science.1925544


Many candidate antigens of malaria vaccines have limited immunological recognition. One exception is Pfs25, a cysteine-rich, 25-kilodalton sexual stage surface protein of Plasmodium falciparum. Pfs25 is a target of monoclonal antibodies that block transmission of malaria from vertebrate host to mosquito vector. The surface of mammalian cells infected with a recombinant vaccinia virus that expressed Pfs25 specifically bound transmission-blocking monoclonal antibodies. Furthermore, major histocompatibility complex-disparate congenic mouse strains immunized with recombinant Pfs25 elicited transmission-blocking antibodies, demonstrating that the capacity to develop transmission-blocking antibodies is not genetically restricted in mice. Live recombinant viruses may provide an inexpensive, easily administered alternative to subunit vaccines prepared from purified recombinant proteins to block transmission of malaria in developing countries.