High-Density Peptide Arrays for Malaria Vaccine Development
The development of an efficacious and practicable vaccine conferring sterile immunity towards a Plasmodium infection represents a not yet achieved goal. A crucial factor for the impact of a given anti-plasmodial subunit vaccine is the identification of the most potent parasitic components required to induce protection from both infection and disease. Here, we present a method based on a novel high-density peptide array technology that allows for a flexible readout of malaria antibodies. Peptide arrays applied as a screening method can be used to identify novel immunogenic antibody epitopes under a large number of potential antigens/peptides. Ultimately, discovered antigen candidates and/or epitope sequences can be translated into vaccine prototype design. The technology can be further utilized to unravel antibody-mediated immune responses (e.g., involved in the establishment of semi-immunity) and moreover to confirm vaccine potency during the process of clinical development by verifying the induced antibody responses following vaccination.
Key wordsImmunogenic malarial antigens Antibody readout Peptide binding Malarial subunit vaccine Antibody epitope mapping Antigen screening
We thank Ann-Kristin Mueller for critical discussions and helpful comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by the University Heidelberg Frontier Innovation Fund of the Excellence Cluster (0077.3.5.2.86) to K.H., the Carl-Zeiss-Foundation, the Gips-Schuele-Foundation, and the Karlsruhe House of Young Scientists to F.L. J.P. is the recipient of an HRCMM (Heidelberg Research Center for Molecular Medicine) Career Development Fellowship.
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