Preventing Malaria : Combining Novel Methods To Develop a Vaccine
Samuel Locoh-Donou, Towson University; Carol Berkower, Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University
We are developing a vaccine against malaria, involving the following elements:
1) A delivery vector, a “taxi”: the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis strain Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG). BCG is injected as a live tuberculosis vaccine into most of the world’s population shortly after birth
2)A malaria antigen: the circumsporozoite protein (CSP), to be expressed by BCG
3) The complement protein C3d, which has been shown to enhance immunogenicity of vaccines.
Our lab has generated recombinant strains of BCG expressing the CSP protein from the mouse malaria parasite Plasmodium yoelii . These strains are being modified to express mouse C3d in a fusion with CSP. Ultimately, our goal is to vaccinate mice with these modified BCG strains and test for their ability to protect against malaria.