Nanobodies against malaria

Nanobodies against malaria

Project details

Nanobodies are single domain antibodies isolated from camelids or cartilaginous fish. They are the smallest naturally derived antigen-binding fragment and only one-tenth the size of conventional antibodies. Nanobodies are used as therapeutics and research tools due to their small size, high antigen binding affinity, solubility and increased stability across temperature and pH.

This project will involve characterisation of nanobodies against malaria proteins to identify antibodies that effectively inhibit parasite invasion or growth across the whole malaria lifecycle. We will use a wide range of biochemical, structural and molecular techniques to characterise the mechanism of inhibition. The results from this project identify new potential vaccine candidates against malaria.

 

About our research group

Malaria is one of the most widespread parasitic diseases in the world with more than 40 per cent of humans under the risk of contracting this devastating disease. Human malaria is caused by six species of Plasmodium parasites, of which Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax contribute to the majority of human infections.

We have been working to understand how malaria parasites cause disease so that we can use this pivotal information to develop a vaccine. Our research seeks a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms utilised by malaria parasites to infect humans and mosquitoes, and of parasite evasion strategies to circumvent human immune responses.

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