Towards an RTS,S-based, multi-stage, multi-antigen vaccine against falciparum malaria: progress at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

Vaccine. 2005 Mar 18;23(17-18):2243-50. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2005.01.142.


The goal of the Malaria Vaccine Program at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) is to develop a licensed multi-antigen, multi-stage vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum able to prevent all symptomatic manifestations of malaria by preventing parasitemia. A secondary goal is to limit disease in vaccinees that do develop malaria. Malaria prevention will be achieved by inducing humoral and cellular immunity against the pre-erythrocytic circumsporozoite protein (CSP) and the liver stage antigen-1 (LSA-1). The strategy to limit disease will target immune responses against one or more blood stage antigens, merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1) and apical merozoite antigen-1 (AMA-1). The induction of T- and B-cell memory to achieve a sustained vaccine response may additionally require immunization with an adenovirus vector such as adenovirus serotype 35. RTS,S, a CSP-derived antigen developed by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals in collaboration with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research over the past 17 years, is the cornerstone of our program. RTS,S formulated in AS02A (a GSK proprietary formulation) is the only vaccine candidate shown in field trials to prevent malaria and, in one instance, to limit disease severity. Our vaccine development plan requires proof of an individual antigen's efficacy in a Phase 2 laboratory challenge or field trial prior to its integration into an RTS,S-based, multi-antigen vaccine. Progress has been accelerated through extensive partnerships with industrial, academic, governmental, and non-governmental organizations. Recent safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy trials in the US and Africa are presented, as well as plans for the development of a multi-antigen vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Academies and Institutes
  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Protozoan / genetics
  • Antigens, Protozoan / immunology
  • Antigens, Protozoan / isolation & purification
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Humans
  • Malaria Vaccines / genetics
  • Malaria Vaccines / immunology
  • Malaria Vaccines / isolation & purification*
  • Malaria Vaccines / pharmacology
  • Malaria, Falciparum / prevention & control
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / immunology
  • Merozoite Surface Protein 1 / genetics
  • Merozoite Surface Protein 1 / immunology
  • Plasmodium falciparum / genetics
  • Plasmodium falciparum / immunology*
  • Protozoan Proteins / genetics
  • Protozoan Proteins / immunology
  • United States


  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Malaria Vaccines
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Merozoite Surface Protein 1
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • RTS,S-AS02A vaccine
  • apical membrane antigen I, Plasmodium
  • liver stage-specific antigen, Plasmodium