Until recently, malaria vaccine development efforts have focused almost exclusively on a handful of well characterized Plasmodium falciparum antigens. Despite dedicated work by many researchers on different continents spanning more than half a century, a successful malaria vaccine remains elusive. Sequencing of the P. falciparum genome has revealed more than five thousand genes, providing the foundation for systematic approaches to discover candidate vaccine antigens. We are taking advantage of this wealth of information to discover new antigens that may be more effective vaccine targets. Herein, we describe different approaches to large-scale screening of the P. falciparum genome to identify targets of either antibody responses or T cell responses using human specimens collected in Controlled Human Malaria Infections (CHMI) or under conditions of natural exposure in the field. These genome, proteome and transcriptome based approaches offer enormous potential for the development of an efficacious malaria vaccine.
Keywords: Antigen discovery; Immunomics; Large-scale screen; Protein microarrays; Reverse vaccinology; T cell antigens.
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