Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 18771584
Malar. J. 2008;7:170
Pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) is a serious consequence of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes sequestration in the placenta through the adhesion to the placental receptor chondroitin sulfate A (CSA). Although women become resistant to PAM as they acquire transcending inhibitory immunity against CSA-binding parasites, hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved if a prophylactic vaccine targeting the surface proteins of placental parasites could be designed. Recent works point to the variant protein var2CSA as the key target for the development of a pregnancy-associated malaria vaccine. However, designing such a prophylactic vaccine has been hindered by the difficulty in identifying regions of var2CSA that could elicit broadly neutralizing and adhesion-blocking antibodies.