Research ArticleMalaria

A double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1/2a trial of the genetically attenuated malaria vaccine PfSPZ-GA1

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Science Translational Medicine  20 May 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 544, eaaz5629
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaz5629

GMOs for good

Despite decades of progress and a multitude of approaches, a durable malaria vaccine remains elusive. Two new clinical studies in this issue report initial testing of genetically engineered malaria vaccines in malaria-naïve adults. Roestenberg et al. studied PfSPZ-GA1, a Plasmodium falciparum SPZ vaccine attenuated by deletion of b9 and slarp. Reuling et al. examined PbVac, SPZ of the rodent-specific parasite P. berghei modified to express the circumsporozoite protein from P. falciparum. Both vaccines were well tolerated and immunogenic. Controlled malaria challenge also indicated some evidence of protection. These genetically engineered vaccines are part of the new wave of malaria vaccines and warrant further clinical testing.

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