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Structure, function and vaccine potential of the vir multigene family in malaria

Objective

Antigenic variation is a common feature in malaria parasites and a considerable challenge facing the development of an efficient vaccine. The expression of variant antigens on the surface of the infected red blood cell plays a role in immune evasion, sequestration and the associated pathology. There are a number of multigene families in Plasmodium that code for these variant antigens and are targets for protective immunity. Recently, a new gene family (vir) coding for a variant surface antigen has been identified in P. vivax. Homologues of vir have now been identified in a number of other malaria parasites. Using the availability of suitable model systems we propose to study the expression of vir and investigate host immunity. This information will then be used to establish and test a suitable approach for a vir based malaria vaccine.

Coordinator

MRC National Institute for Medical Research
Address
The Ridgeway Mill Hil
NW7 1AA London
United Kingdom

Participants (5)

FOUNDATION BIOMEDICAL PRIMATE RESEARCH CENTRE
Netherlands
Address
Lange Kleiweg 139
2288 GJ Rijswijk Zh
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA SANTE ET DE LA RECHERCHE MEDICALE
France
Address
Rue Du Faubourg Saint-jacques 27
75014 Paris
LEIDEN UNIVERSITY
Netherlands
Address
Albinusdreef 2
2300 RC Leiden
UNIVERSITAETSKLINIKUM HEIDELBERG
Germany
Address
Im Neuenheimer Feld 324
69120 Heidelberg
UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
United Kingdom
Address
University Avenue, Joseph Black Building
G12 8QQ Glasgow