Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 30302285
Link to DOI – 10.1038/s41541-018-0083-3
2018 ; 3(): 48
Reticulocyte invasion by Plasmodium vivax requires interaction of the Duffy-binding protein (PvDBP) with host Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines (DARCs). The binding domain of PvDBP maps to a cysteine-rich region referred to as region II (PvDBPII). Blocking this interaction offers a potential path to prevent P. vivax blood-stage growth and P. vivax malaria. This forms the rationale for development of a vaccine based on PvDBPII. Here we report results of a Phase I randomized trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of recombinant PvDBPII formulated with glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant-stable emulsion (GLA-SE). Thirty-six malaria-naive, healthy Indian male subjects aged 18-45 years were assigned into three cohorts corresponding to doses of 10, 25 and 50 µg of PvDBPII formulated with 5 µg of GLA-SE. Each cohort included nine PvDBPII/GLA-SE vaccinees and three hepatitis B control vaccine recipients. Each subject received the assigned vaccine intramuscularly on days 0, 28 and 56, and was followed up till day 180. No serious AE was reported and PvDBPII/GLA-SE was well-tolerated and safe. Analysis by ELISA showed that all three doses of PvDBPII elicited antigen-specific binding-inhibitory antibodies. The 50 µg dose elicited antibodies against PvDBPII that had the highest binding-inhibitory titres and were most persistent. Importantly, the antibody responses were strain transcending and blocked receptor binding of diverse PvDBP alleles. These results support further clinical development of PvDBPII/GLA-SE to evaluate efficacy against sporozoite or blood-stage challenge in controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) models and against natural P. vivax challenge in malaria endemic areas.