Yale Researchers Identify Target for Novel Malaria Vaccine
A team of researchers has developed a vaccine against malaria infection targeting a unique protein produced by malaria parasites. Plasmodium macrophage migration inhibitory factor (PMIF) suppresses the infection fighting cells that respond to threats and protect the body against reinfection. PMIF is critical for the completion of the parasite life cycle, specifically the transmission to new hosts. An RNA based vaccine developed by the researchers protects against reinfection in mice. The next step is to develop a vaccine that could be used for individuals who have never been infected with malaria. Researchers also have noted that the PMIF protein has been conserved over various strains of malaria, and therefore it should be nearly impossible for the virus to develop a resistance to the vaccine.