Plasmodium vivax is the major cause of malaria outside sub-Saharan Africa and inflicts debilitating morbidity and consequent economic impacts in developing countries. In order to produce a P. vivax vaccine for global use, we have previously reported the development of a novel chimeric recombinant protein, VMP001, based on the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) of P. vivax . Very few adjuvant formulations are currently available for human use. Our interest is to evaluate second-generation vaccine formulations to identify novel combinations of adjuvants capable of inducing strong, long-lasting immune responses. In this study rhesus monkeys were immunized intramuscularly three times with VMP001 in combination with a stable emulsion (SE) or a synthetic Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) agonist (glucopyranosyl lipid A [GLA]) in SE (GLA-SE). Sera and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were tested for the presence of antigen-specific humoral and cellular responses, respectively. All groups of monkeys generated high titers of anti- P. vivax IgG antibodies, as detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and immunofluorescence assays. In addition, all groups generated a cellular immune response characterized by antigen-specific CD4 + T cells secreting predominantly interleukin-2 (IL-2) and lesser amounts of tumor necrosis factor (TNF). We conclude that the combination of VMP001 and GLA-SE is safe and immunogenic in monkeys and may serve as a potential second-generation vaccine candidate against P. vivax malaria.
Lumsden, J. M., Pichyangkul, S., Srichairatanakul, U., Yongvanitchit, K., Limsalakpetch, A., Nurmukhambetova, S., … Yadava, A. (2011). Evaluation of the Safety and Immunogenicity in Rhesus Monkeys of a Recombinant Malaria Vaccine for Plasmodium vivax with a Synthetic Toll-Like Receptor 4 Agonist Formulated in an Emulsion. Infection and Immunity, 79(9), 3492–3500. https://doi.org/10.1128/iai.05257-11