Victoria Majam

University of Ghana, Akra, Greater Accra, Ghana

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Publications (23)92.54 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: CD4+ T cell-subypes govern the synthesis of different antibody isotypes and other immune functions. The influence of CD4+ T-cell differentiation programs on isotype switching and other aspects of host immunological networks during malaria infection are currently poorly understood. Here we used Tbx21−/− mice deficient for T-bet a regulator of Th1 CD4+ T-cell differentiation, to examine the effect of Th1 CD4+ T cells on the immune protection to nonlethal murine malaria Plasmodium yoelii 17XNL. We found that Tbx21−/− mice exhibited significantly lower parasite burden that correlated with elevated levels of IgG1, indicating that T-bet dependent antibody isotype switching may be responsible for lower parasite burden. Absence of T-bet was also associated with a transient but significant loss of T cells during the infection, suggesting that T-bet may suppress malaria induced apoptosis or induce proliferation of T cells. However, Tbx21−/− mice produced greater numbers of Foxp3+CD25+ regulatory CD4+ T cells, which may contribute to the early contraction of T cells. Lastly, Tbx21−/− mice exhibited unimpaired production of IFN−γ by a diverse repertoire of immune cell subsets and a selective expansion of IFN−γ producing T cells. These observations may have implications in malaria vaccine design.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
    European Journal of Immunology 07/2014; · 4.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The pathogenesis of experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) is an immunologic process, mediated in part by Th1 CD4(+) T cells. However, the role of the Th1 CD4(+) T cell differentiation program on the ability to control parasitemia and susceptibility to ECM disease during blood stage malaria has never been assessed directly. Using the Plasmodium berghei ANKA murine model of ECM and mice deficient for the transcription factor T-bet (the master regulator of Th1 cells) on the susceptible C57BL/6 background, we demonstrate that although T-bet plays a role in the regulation of parasite burden, it also promotes the pathogenesis of ECM. T-bet-deficient (Tbx21(-/-)) mice had higher parasitemia than wild type controls did during the ECM phase of disease (17.7 ± 3.1% versus 10.9 ± 1.5%). In addition, although 100% (10/10) of wild type mice developed ECM by day 9 after infection, only 30% (3/10) of Tbx21(-/-) mice succumbed to disease during the cerebral phase of infection. Resistance to ECM in Tbx21(-/-) mice was associated with diminished numbers of IFN-γ-producing CD4(+) T cells in the spleen and a lower accumulation of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells in the brain. An augmented Th2 immune response characterized by enhanced production of activated GATA-3(+) CD4(+) T cells and elevated levels of the eotaxin, MCP-1, and G-CSF cytokines was observed in the absence of T-bet. Our results suggest that in virulent malarias, immune modulation or therapy resulting in an early shift toward a Th2 response may help to ameliorate the most severe consequences of malaria immunopathogenesis and the prospect of host survival.
    The Journal of Immunology 09/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: When introduced in the 1990s, immunization with DNA plasmids was considered potentially revolutionary for vaccine development, particularly for vaccines intended to induce protective CD8 T cell responses against multiple antigens. We conducted, in 1997-1998, the first clinical trial in healthy humans of a DNA vaccine, a single plasmid encoding Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP), as an initial step toward developing a multi-antigen malaria vaccine targeting the liver stages of the parasite. As the next step, we conducted in 2000-2001 a clinical trial of a five-plasmid mixture called MuStDO5 encoding pre-erythrocytic antigens PfCSP, PfSSP2/TRAP, PfEXP1, PfLSA1 and PfLSA3. Thirty-two, malaria-naïve, adult volunteers were enrolled sequentially into four cohorts receiving a mixture of 500 μg of each plasmid plus escalating doses (0, 20, 100 or 500 μg) of a sixth plasmid encoding human granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (hGM-CSF). Three doses of each formulation were administered intramuscularly by needle-less jet injection at 0, 4 and 8 weeks, and each cohort had controlled human malaria infection administered by five mosquito bites 18 d later. The vaccine was safe and well-tolerated, inducing moderate antigen-specific, MHC-restricted T cell interferon-γ responses but no antibodies. Although no volunteers were protected, T cell responses were boosted post malaria challenge. This trial demonstrated the MuStDO5 DNA and hGM-CSF plasmids to be safe and modestly immunogenic for T cell responses. It also laid the foundation for priming with DNA plasmids and boosting with recombinant viruses, an approach known for nearly 15 y to enhance the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of DNA vaccines.
    Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics. 11/2012; 8(11).
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    ABSTRACT: Background. γ-irradiation is commonly used to create attenuation in Plasmodium parasites. However, there are no systematic studies on the survival, reversion of virulence, and the molecular basis for γ-irradiation induced cell death in malaria parasites.Methods. The effect of γ-irradiation on the growth of asexual Plasmodium falciparum parasites was studied in erythrocyte cultures. Cellular and ultrastructural changes within the parasite were studied by fluorescence and electron microscopy, and genome-wide transcriptional profiling was performed to identify parasite biomarkers of attenuation and cell death.Results. γ-irradiation induced the death of P. falciparum parasites in a dose dependent manner. These parasites had defective mitosis, sparse cytoplasm, fewer ribosomes, disorganized and clumped organelles and large vacuoles - observations consistent with 'distressed' or dying parasites. A total of 185 parasite genes were transcriptionally altered in response to γ-irradiation (45.9% upregulated, 54.1% down-regulated). Loss of parasite survival was correlated with the downregulation of genes encoding translation factors and upregulation of genes associated with mRNA sequestering stress granules. Genes pertaining to cell-surface interactions, host cell remodeling and secreted proteins were also altered.Conclusion. These studies provide a framework to assess the safety of γ-irradiation attenuation and promising targets for genetic deletion to produce whole parasite-based attenuated vaccines.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 10/2012; · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    Malaria Journal 10/2012; 11(1). · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is still a need to improve the sensitivity of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for malaria to detect submicroscopic asexual stage Plasmodium infections during the early phase and chronic, asymptomatic phase of infection when the parasite burden is very low. The inhibitory effect of hemoglobin (Hb) on PCR limits the volume of blood that can be used in the PCR-based detection of intraerythrocytic Plasmodium parasites. We lysed red blood cells with saponin to reduce the Hb concentration in extracted nucleic acid and, as a result, significantly increased the volume of blood that can be tested by PCR. The analytical sensitivity of the PCR was determined using whole blood spiked with ring-stage Plasmodium falciparum parasites, and its clinical sensitivity by testing blood film-positive and blood film-negative samples from individuals living in an endemic area in Ghana. We have developed a pan-Plasmodium PCR that detects all five human Plasmodium species with the highest analytical sensitivity of two P. falciparum parasites/mL of whole blood and species-specific PCR tests that distinguished between the five human Plasmodium species. Pan-Plasmodium PCR detected 78 of 78 (100%) blood film-positive and 19 of 101 (18.81%) blood film-negative samples from asymptomatic individuals living in Ghana. Pan-Plasmodium PCR was equally sensitive with samples collected as anticoagulated whole blood and clotted blood and in blood collected by finger stick into capillaries. We have developed PCR tests with the highest reported sensitivity to date for pan-Plasmodium diagnosis and species-specific diagnosis and detected blood film-negative asymptomatic infections in individuals living in malaria-endemic countries.
    Transfusion 02/2012; 52(9):1949-56. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Rana Chattopadhyay, Victoria F Majam, Sanjai Kumar
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    ABSTRACT: Transfusion-transmitted malaria remains a serious concern for blood safety. Viable Plasmodium parasites must be present in human blood to transmit malaria, but their survival in blood over time stored under refrigeration has never been carefully investigated. We spiked leukoreduced normal human blood with Plasmodium falciparum (3D7 strain) asexual ring-stage parasites and stored it at 4 °C for 28 days, taking samples at different days intervals. We evaluated the samples for parasitemia by blood film microscopy and by culturing red blood cells (RBCs) to allow further development of parasites. We observed a significant reduction in parasitemia (0.5% vs. 0.12%) after only 1 day in storage at 4 °C. Thereafter, reduction in parasitemia was relatively gradual. Microscopically detectable parasites were present even after 28 days of storage. However, after storing for more than 14 days at 4 °C, parasites no longer replicated when cultured in vitro. Although the storage of asexual blood-stage P. falciparum parasites at 4 °C is detrimental to their survival (a 7.1-fold reduction in parasitemia after 14 days in storage), parasites remained microscopically detectable for 28 days, the end time point of our study. Further in vitro and in vivo studies will be needed to confirm loss of viability of P. falciparum after 14 days in storage, but our initial efforts repeatedly failed to show maturation and development of the parasites in cultured RBCs after that time.
    Transfusion 03/2011; 51(3):630-5. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cerebral malaria (CM) is a primary cause of deaths caused by Plasmodium falciparum in young children in sub-Saharan Africa. Laboratory tests based on early detection of host biomarkers in patient blood would help in the prognosis and differential diagnosis of CM. Using the Plasmodium berghei ANKA murine model of experimental cerebral malaria (ECM), we have identified over 300 putative diagnostic biomarkers of ECM in the circulation by comparing the whole-blood transcriptional profiles of resistant mice (BALB/c) to those of two susceptible strains (C57BL/6 and CBA/CaJ). Our results suggest that the transcriptional profile of whole blood captures the molecular and immunological events associated with the pathogenesis of disease. We find that during ECM, erythropoiesis is dysfunctional, thrombocytopenia is evident, and glycosylation of cell surface components may be modified. Furthermore, analysis of immunity-related genes suggests that slightly distinct mechanisms of immunopathogenesis may operate in susceptible C57BL/6 and CBA/CaJ mice. Furthermore, our data set has allowed us to create a molecular signature of ECM composed of a subset of circulatory markers. Complement component C1q, β-chain, nonspecific cytotoxic cell receptor protein 1, prostate stem cell antigen, DnaJC, member 15, glutathione S-transferase omega-1, and thymidine kinase 1 were overexpressed in blood during the symptomatic phase of ECM, as measured by quantitative real-time PCR analysis. These studies provide the first host transcriptome database that is uniquely altered during the pathogenesis of ECM in blood. A subset of these mediators of ECM warrant validation in P. falciparum-infected young African children as diagnostic markers of CM.
    Infection and immunity 03/2011; 79(3):1244-53. · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Whole malaria parasites are highly effective in inducing immunity against malaria. Due to the limited success of subunit based vaccines in clinical studies, there has been a renewed interest in whole parasite-based malaria vaccines. Apart from attenuated sporozoites, there have also been efforts to use live asexual stage parasites as vaccine immunogens. We used radiation exposure to attenuate the highly virulent asexual blood stages of the murine malaria parasite P. berghei to a non-replicable, avirulent form. We tested the ability of the attenuated blood stage parasites to induce immunity to parasitemia and the symptoms of severe malaria disease. Depending on the mouse genetic background, a single high dose immunization without adjuvant protected mice from parasitemia and severe disease (CD1 mice) or from experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) (C57BL/6 mice). A low dose immunization did not protect against parasitemia or severe disease in either model after one or two immunizations. The protection from ECM was associated with a parasite specific antibody response and also with a lower level of splenic parasite-specific IFN-γ production, which is a mediator of ECM pathology in C57BL/6 mice. Surprisingly, there was no difference in the sequestration of CD8+ T cells and CD45+ CD11b+ macrophages in the brains of immunized, ECM-protected mice. This report further demonstrates the effectiveness of a whole parasite blood-stage vaccine in inducing immunity to malaria and explicitly demonstrates its effectiveness against ECM, the most pathogenic consequence of malaria infection. This experimental model will be important to explore the formulation of whole parasite blood-stage vaccines against malaria and to investigate the immune mechanisms that mediate protection against parasitemia and cerebral malaria.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(9):e24398. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The multiple antigen peptide (MAP) approach is an effective method to chemically synthesize and deliver multiple T-cell and B-cell epitopes as the constituents of a single immunogen. Here we report on the design, chemical synthesis, and immunogenicity of three Plasmodium falciparum MAP vaccines that incorporated antigenic epitopes from the sporozoite, liver, and blood stages of the life cycle. Antibody and cellular responses were determined in three inbred (C57BL/6, BALB/c, and A/J) strains, one congenic (HLA-A2 on the C57BL/6 background) strain, and one outbred strain (CD1) of mice. All three MAPs were immunogenic and induced both antibody and cellular responses, albeit in a somewhat genetically restricted manner. Antibodies against MAP-1, MAP-2, and MAP-3 had an antiparasite effect that was also dependent on the mouse major histocompatibility complex background. Anti-MAP-1 (CSP-based) antibodies blocked the invasion of HepG2 liver cells by P. falciparum sporozoites (highest, 95.16% in HLA-A2 C57BL/6; lowest, 11.21% in BALB/c). Furthermore, antibodies generated following immunizations with the MAP-2 (PfCSP, PfLSA-1, PfMSP-1(42), and PfMSP-3b) and MAP-3 (PfRAP-1, PfRAP-2, PfSERA, and PfMSP-1(42)) vaccines were able to reduce the growth of blood stage parasites in erythrocyte cultures to various degrees. Thus, MAP-based vaccines remain a viable option to induce effective antibody and cellular responses. These results warrant further development and preclinical and clinical testing of the next generation of candidate MAP vaccines that are based on the conserved protective epitopes from Plasmodium antigens that are widely recognized by populations of divergent HLA types from around the world.
    Infection and immunity 11/2010; 78(11):4613-24. · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An in-depth knowledge of the host molecules and biological pathways that contribute towards the pathogenesis of cerebral malaria would help guide the development of novel prognostics and therapeutics. Genome-wide transcriptional profiling of the brain tissue during experimental cerebral malaria (ECM ) caused by Plasmodium berghei ANKA parasites in mice, a well established surrogate of human cerebral malaria, has been useful in predicting the functional classes of genes involved and pathways altered during the course of disease. To further understand the contribution of individual genes to the pathogenesis of ECM, we examined the biological relevance of three molecules -- CD14, galectin-3, and OX40 that were previously shown to be overexpressed during ECM. We find that CD14 plays a predominant role in the induction of ECM and regulation of parasite density; deletion of the CD14 gene not only prevented the onset of disease in a majority of susceptible mice (only 21% of CD14-deficient compared to 80% of wildtype mice developed ECM, p<0.0004) but also had an ameliorating effect on parasitemia (a 2 fold reduction during the cerebral phase). Furthermore, deletion of the galectin-3 gene in susceptible C57BL/6 mice resulted in partial protection from ECM (47% of galectin-3-deficient versus 93% of wildtype mice developed ECM, p<0.0073). Subsequent adherence assays suggest that galectin-3 induced pathogenesis of ECM is not mediated by the recognition and binding of galectin-3 to P. berghei ANKA parasites. A previous study of ECM has demonstrated that brain infiltrating T cells are strongly activated and are CD44(+)CD62L(-) differentiated memory T cells [1]. We find that OX40, a marker of both T cell activation and memory, is selectively upregulated in the brain during ECM and its distribution among CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells accumulated in the brain vasculature is approximately equal.
    PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(8):e6793. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cerebral malaria (CM) is a primary cause of malaria-associated deaths among young African children. Yet no diagnostic tools are available that could be used to predict which of the children infected with Plasmodium falciparum malaria will progress to CM. We used the Plasmodium berghei ANKA murine model of experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) and high-density oligonucleotide microarray analyses to identify host molecules that are strongly associated with the clinical symptoms of ECM. Comparative expression analyses were performed with C57BL/6 mice, which have an ECM-susceptible phenotype, and with mice that have ECM-resistant phenotypes: CD8 knockout and perforin knockout mice on the C57BL/6 background and BALB/c mice. These analyses allowed the identification of more than 200 host molecules (a majority of which had not been identified previously) with altered expression patterns in the brain that are strongly associated with the manifestation of ECM. Among these host molecules, brain samples from mice with ECM expressed significantly higher levels of p21, metallothionein, and hemoglobin alpha1 proteins by Western blot analysis than mice unaffected by ECM, suggesting the possible utility of these molecules as prognostic biomarkers of CM in humans. We suggest that the higher expression of hemoglobin alpha1 in the brain may be associated with ECM and could be a source of excess heme, a molecule that is considered to trigger the pathogenesis of CM. Our studies greatly enhance the repertoire of host molecules for use as diagnostics and novel therapeutics in CM.
    Infection and immunity 10/2008; 76(10):4518-29. · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Molecules and cellular mechanisms that regulate the process of cell division in malaria parasites remain poorly understood. In this study we isolate and characterize the four Plasmodium falciparum centrins (PfCENs) and, by growth complementation studies, provide evidence for their involvement in cell division. Centrins are cytoskeleton proteins with key roles in cell division, including centrosome duplication, and possess four Ca(2+)-binding EF hand domains. By means of phylogenetic analysis, we were able to decipher the evolutionary history of centrins in eukaryotes with particular emphasis on the situation in apicomplexans and other alveolates. Plasmodium possesses orthologs of four distinct centrin paralogs traceable to the ancestral alveolate, including two that are unique to alveolates. By real time PCR and/or immunofluorescence, we determined the expression of PfCEN mRNA or protein in sporozoites, asexual blood forms, gametocytes, and in the oocysts developing inside mosquito mid-gut. Immunoelectron microscopy studies showed that centrin is expressed in close proximity with the nucleus of sporozoites and asexual schizonts. Furthermore, confocal and widefield microscopy using the double staining with alpha-tubulin and centrin antibodies strongly suggested that centrin is associated with the parasite centrosome. Following the episomal expression of the four PfCENs in a centrin knock-out Leishmania donovani parasite line that exhibited a severe growth defect, one of the PfCENs was able to partially restore Leishmania growth rate and overcome the defect in cytokinesis in such mutant cell line. To our knowledge, this study is the first characterization of a Plasmodium molecule that is involved in the process of cell division. These results provide the opportunity to further explore the role of centrins in cell division in malaria parasites and suggest novel targets to construct genetically modified, live attenuated malaria vaccines.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2008; 283(46):31871-83. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A successful vaccine against Plasmodium vivax malaria would significantly improve the health and quality of the lives of more than 1 billion people around the world. A subunit vaccine is the only option in the absence of long-term culture of P. vivax parasites. The circumsporozoite protein that covers the surface of Plasmodium sporozoites is one of the best-studied malarial antigens and the most promising vaccine in clinical trials. We report here the development of a novel "immunologically optimal" recombinant vaccine expressed in Escherichia coli that encodes a chimeric CS protein encompassing repeats from the two major alleles, VK210 and VK247. This molecule is widely recognized by sera from patients naturally exposed to P. vivax infection and induces a highly potent immune response in genetically disparate strains of mice. Antibodies from immunized animals recognize both VK210 and VK247 sporozoites. Furthermore, these antibodies appear to be protective in nature since they cause the agglutination of live sporozoites, an in vitro surrogate of sporozoite infectivity. These results strongly suggest that recombinant CS is biologically active and highly immunogenic across major histocompatibility complex strains and raises the prospect that in humans this vaccine may induce protective immune responses.
    Infection and Immunity 04/2007; 75(3):1177-85. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In eukaryotes, the formation of protein disulfide bonds among cysteine residues is mediated by protein disulfide isomerases and occurs in the highly oxidised environment of the endoplasmic reticulum. This process is poorly understood in malaria parasites. In this paper, we report the gene isolation, sequence and phylogenetic comparisons, protein structure and thioredoxin-domain analyses of nine protein disulfide isomerases-like molecules from five species of malaria parasites including Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax (human), Plasmodium knowlesi (simian) and Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium yoelii (murine). Four of the studied protein disulfide isomerases belong to P. falciparum malaria and have been named PfPDI-8, PfPDI-9, PfPDI-11 and PfPDI-14, based on their chromosomal location. Among these, PfPDI-8 bears the closest similarity to a prototype PDI molecule with two thioredoxin domains (containing CGHC active sites) and a C-terminal Endoplasmic reticulum retrieval signal, SEEL. PfPDI-8 is expressed during all stages of parasite life cycle and is highly conserved (82-96% identity at amino acid level) in the other four Plasmodium species studied. Detailed biochemical analysis of PfPDI-8 revealed that this molecule is a potent oxido-reductase enzyme that facilitated the disulfide-dependent conformational folding of EBA-175, a leading malaria vaccine candidate. These studies open the avenues to understand the process of protein folding and secretory pathway in malaria parasites that in turn might aid in the production of superior recombinant vaccines and provide novel drug targets.
    International Journal for Parasitology 09/2006; 36(9):1037-48. · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Proteins present on the surface of malaria parasites that participate in the process of invasion and adhesion to host cells are considered attractive vaccine targets. Aided by the availability of the partially completed genome sequence of the simian malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi, we have identified a 786-bp DNA sequence that encodes a 262-amino-acid-long protein, containing an altered version of the thrombospondin type I repeat domain (SPATR). Thrombospondin type 1 repeat domains participate in biologically diverse functions, such as cell attachment, mobility, proliferation, and extracellular protease activities. The SPATR from P. knowlesi (PkSPATR) shares 61% and 58% sequence identity with its Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium yoelii orthologs, respectively. By immunofluorescence analysis, we determined that PkSPATR is a multistage antigen that is expressed on the surface of P. knowlesi sporozoite and erythrocytic stage parasites. Recombinant PkSPATR produced in Escherichia coli binds to a human hepatoma cell line, HepG2, suggesting that PkSPATR is a parasite ligand that could be involved in sporozoite invasion of liver cells. Furthermore, recombinant PkSPATR reacted with pooled sera from P. knowlesi-infected rhesus monkeys, indicating that native PkSPATR is immunogenic during infection. Further efficacy evaluation studies in the P. knowlesi-rhesus monkey sporozoite challenge model will help to decide whether the SPATR molecule should be developed as a vaccine against human malarias.
    Infection and Immunity 10/2005; 73(9):5402-9. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CEL-1000 (DGQEEKAGVVSTGLIGGG) is a novel potential preventative and therapeutic agent. We report that CEL-1000 confers a high degree of protection against Plasmodium sporozoite challenge in a murine model of malaria, as shown by the total absence of blood stage infection following challenge with 100 sporozoites (100% protection) and by a substantial reduction (400-fold) of liver stage parasite RNA following challenge with 50,000 sporozoites. CEL-1000 protection was demonstrated in A/J (H-2(a)) and C3H/HeJ (H-2(k)) mice but not in BALB/c (H-2(d)) or CAF1 (A/J x BALB/c F(1) hybrid) mice. In CEL-1000-treated and protected mice, high levels of gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) in serum and elevated frequencies of hepatic and splenic CD4+ IFN-gamma-positive T cells were detected 24 h after administration of an additional dose of CEL-1000. Treatment of A/J mice that received CEL-1000 with antibodies against IFN-gamma just prior to challenge abolished the protection, and a similar treatment with antibodies against CD4+ T cells partially reduced the level of protection, while treatment with control antibodies or antibodies specific for interleukin-12 (IL-12), CD8+ T cells, or NK cells had no effect. Our data establish that the protection induced by CEL-1000 is dependent on IFN-gamma and is partially dependent on CD4+ T cells but is independent of CD8+ T cells, NK cells, and IL-12 at the effector phase and does not induce a detectable antibody response.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 08/2004; 48(7):2455-63. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Optimal protection against malaria may require induction of high levels of protective antibody and CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cell responses. In humans, malaria DNA vaccines elicit CD8(+) cytotoxic T cells (CTL) and IFNgamma responses as measured by short-term (ex vivo) ELISPOT assays, and recombinant proteins elicit antibodies and excellent T cell responses, but no CD8(+) CTL or CD8(+) IFNgamma-producing cells as measured by ex vivo ELISPOT. Priming with DNA and boosting with recombinant pox virus elicits much better T cell responses than DNA alone, but not antibody responses. In an attempt to elicit antibodies and enhanced T cell responses, we administered RTS,S/AS02A, a partially protective Plasmodium falciparum recombinant circumsporozoite protein (CSP) vaccine in adjuvant, to volunteers previously immunized with a P. falciparum CSP DNA vaccine (VCL-2510) and to naïve volunteers. This vaccine regimen was well tolerated and safe. The volunteers who received RTS,S/AS02A alone had, as expected, antibody and CD4(+) T cell responses, but no CD8(+) T cell responses. Volunteers who received PfCSP DNA followed by RTS,S/AS02A had antibody and CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cell responses (Wang et al., submitted). Sequential immunization with DNA and recombinant protein, also called heterologous prime-boost, led to enhanced immune responses as compared to DNA or recombinant protein alone, suggesting that it might provide enhanced protective immunity.
    Vaccine 05/2004; 22(13-14):1592-603. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We measured the ability of nine DNA vaccine plasmids encoding candidate malaria vaccine antigens to induce antibodies and interferon-gamma responses when delivered alone or in a mixture containing all nine plasmids. We further examined the possible immunosuppressive effect of individual plasmids, by assessing a series of mixtures in which each of the nine vaccine plasmids was replaced with a control plasmid. Given alone, each of the vaccine plasmids induced significant antibody titers and, in the four cases for which appropriate assays were available, IFN-gamma responses. Significant suppression or complete abrogation of responses were seen when the plasmids were pooled in a nine-plasmid cocktail and injected in a single site. Removal of single genes from the mixture frequently reduced the observed suppression. Boosting with recombinant poxvirus increased the antibody response in animals primed with either a single gene or the mixture, but, even after boosting, responses were higher in animals primed with single plasmids than in those primed with the nine-plasmid mixture. Boosting did not overcome the suppressive effect of mixing for IFN-gamma responses. Interactions between components in a multiplasmid DNA vaccine may limit the ability to use plasmid pools alone to induce responses against multiple targets simultaneously.
    Gene Therapy 04/2004; 11(5):448-56. · 4.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The persistence of immunity to malaria induced in mice by a heterologous DNA priming and poxvirus boosting regimen was characterized. Mice were immunized by priming with DNA vaccine plasmids encoding the Plasmodium yoelii circumsporozoite protein (PyCSP) and murine granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and boosting with recombinant vaccinia encoding PyCSP. BALB/c mice immunized with either high-dose (100 microg of p PyCSP plus 30 microg of pGM-CSF) or low-dose (1 microg of p PyCSP plus 1 microg of pGM-CSF DNA) priming were protected against challenge with 50 P. yoelii sporozoites. Protection 2 weeks after immunization was 70 to 100%, persisted at this level for at least 20 weeks, and declined to 30 to 40% by 28 weeks. Eight of eight mice protected at 20 weeks were still protected when rechallenged at 40 weeks. The antigen (Ag)-specific effector CD8(+)-T-cell population present 2 weeks after boosting had ex vivo Ag-specific cytolytic activity, expressed both gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) and tumor necrosis factor alpha, and constituted 12 to 20% of splenic CD8(+) T cells. In contrast, the memory CD8(+)-Ag-specific-cell population at 28 weeks lacked cytolytic activity and constituted only 6% of splenic CD8(+) T cells, but at the single-cell level it produced significantly higher levels of IFN-gamma than the effectors. High levels of Ag- or parasite-specific antibodies present 2 weeks after boosting had declined three- to sevenfold by 28 weeks. Low-dose priming was similarly immunogenic and as protective as high-dose priming against a 50-, but not a 250-, sporozoite challenge. These results demonstrate that a heterologous priming and boosting vaccination can provide lasting protection against malaria in this model system.
    Infection and Immunity 08/2002; 70(7):3493-9. · 4.07 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

404 Citations
92.54 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012
    • University of Ghana
      Akra, Greater Accra, Ghana
  • 1999–2012
    • Naval Medical Research Center
      Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
    • University of Lausanne
      Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
  • 2008–2009
    • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
      • • Division of Bacterial, Parasitic & Allergenic Products
      • • Division of Emerging & Transfusion Transmitted Diseases - I.O.D.
      Washington, D. C., DC, United States
    • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
      • Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases (LPD)
      Maryland, United States
  • 2005
    • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
      Blacksburg, Virginia, United States
  • 2002
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore
      • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States