Pregnancy-associated malaria can cause infant mortality, premature delivery, low birth weight and anaemia and death in the mother. It is a major global public health problem. Our RTD project emphasises the development of a vaccine to protect pregnant women and their newborns from the adverse effects of malarial infections. We will carry out an extensive characterisation of the complex phenomenon of parasite adhesion and sequestration in the placenta, through which we hope to identify parasite protein antigen domains responsible for binding of infected erythrocytes. We will determine the functional relevance of receptor-ligand interactions and will generate structural information to facilitate the development of anti-adhesion vaccines. We will also focus on elucidating the immune mechanisms involved in protection, identifying anti-parasite antibodies and evaluating cytokine production in the placenta in response to malarial infections.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
2200 N Koepenhagen
171 77 Stockholm
EH9 3JT Edinburgh