Pregnancy Associated Malaria (PAM) component Var2CSA
Pregnancy associated malaria occurs due to the expression of specific antigens which allow the parasite to attach to cells of the placenta. These antigens are obvious vaccine targets provided the following criteria are met:
- The gene encoding the antigen is specifically transcribed in Chondroitin Sulfate A (CSA) binding parasite isolates or infected placenta.
- The protein binds to CSA.
- The protein shows some degree of conservation over a range of isolates.
- Gene knock-out disrupts ability to bind to CSA.
This proposal and the proposal for VAR2-CSA DBL3-X were a direct result of the European Malaria Vaccine Initiaitve (EMVI) now European Vaccine Initiative international meeting: Vaccines against PAM. The full report was published in Trends in Parasitology, May 2004 20(5): 201-4.
Full background information can be found in the proposal submitted in response to an European Malaria Vaccine Initiative (EMVI) now European Vaccine Initiative call in 2003. The proposal was recommended by the independent Scientific Advisory Committee, and subsequently approved by the Board.
A contract was signed in 2004 with the Univeristy of Copenhagen for the study programme: Process development, Good Manufacturing Practice production and clinical phase I clinical trial of a malaria vaccine based on VAR2CSA.