Assoc Prof Justin Boddey – Infectious Diseases & Immune Defence division

03/04/2024 1:00 pm - 03/04/2024 2:00 pm
Davis Auditorium

WEHI Wednesday Seminar hosted by Associate Professor Chris Tonkin

Associate Professor Justin Boddey
Laboratory Head | NHMRC Leadership Investigator
Infectious Diseases and Immune Defence division – Infection, Inflammation & Immune Theme, WEHI 


Drug-attenuated liver merozoites confer robust sterile immunity to malaria


Davis Auditorium

Join via SLIDO enter code #WEHIWednesday

Including Q&A session



Naturally acquired malaria immunity only develops after repeated cases and does not prevent reinfection. By contrast, highly efficacious protection from malaria occurs with controlled Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite infection under antimalarial drug cover. Unfortunately, translating this discovery is a challenge for several reasons, not least because Plasmodium species have evolved resistance to almost every drug in use. New antimalarials that kill liver stage parasites just before blood stage malaria occurs may provide improved malaria vaccine efficacy. Recently, we showed that development of a new class of antimalarials targeting the aspartyl proteases plasmepsin IX and X developed in collaboration with Merck inhibit liver parasites from establishing a blood stage malaria infection. Here, we investigated whether such inhibition of liver parasites confers protective immunity. Immunization of mice with live malaria sporozoites under plasmepsin IX and X inhibitor cover elicited sterilizing immunity against malaria in mice lasting 1-2 years that was dependent on both cellular and humoral immune responses. This has exciting implications for vaccination and boosting in endemic areas.


We propose that a long-acting formulation of a late liver stage-active drug given as a seasonal malaria chemoprevention could stimulate immunity to different strains and species of malaria parasites circulating in endemic areas by mosquito transmission.


All welcome!

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