Chapter 12 : Informed by the Immune System

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Malariatherapy showed that immunity to malaria develops with time and is mostly strain and species specific. Cryptic epitopes are ordinarily poorly immunogenic; however, after infection they can be recognized by the immune system either naturally or artificially. Importantly, some of antigens were more immunogenic than the well-characterized antigens currently in clinical evaluation. The message to designers of a malaria vaccine from studies of naturally acquired immunity is clear: a vaccine that affords protection against the disease will require stimulation of both CD4 and CD8 T cells and B cells; however, the repertoire of antigens able to produce such an outcome remains elusive. A prevailing theme throughout Denise Doolan’s research has been the promise of rational vaccine design: the importance of understanding the mechanisms and antigenic targets of protective immunity and identification of the appropriate vaccine delivery system able to induce the required immune responses to specific targets. Whether a vaccine based on the normally hidden amino acid sequences of the band 3 protein would protect or cause an autoimmune reaction and result in anemia is not known. However, based on findings with sera from individuals living in an area where malaria is endemic who are healthy and nonanemic (226), this seems unlikely. Further, it remains to be determined whether such band 3-related peptides or a vaccine produced against peptides such as these could act in an antisequestering capacity.

Citation: Sherman I. 2009. Informed by the Immune System, p 284-318. In The Elusive Malaria Vaccine. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817428.ch12
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