Targets of protective immunity in severe malaria
- Research Opportunity
- PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
- Number of Honour Places Available
- Medicine and Radiology
- Royal Melbourne Hospital
|Dr Michael Duffyfirstname.lastname@example.org||83443262||Personal web page|
|Professor Stephen Rogersonemail@example.com||8344-3259||Personal web page|
429,000 people died from malaria in 2015, most of them children under 5 years of age. However, malaria mortality is only approximately 0.2%. What is it that makes severe malaria fatal? Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites infect red blood cells and export proteins to the surface of the red blood cells which then bind the infected red blood cell to the walls of blood vessels. By hiding in the peripheral circulation parasites avoid destruction in the spleen and by changing the cytoadhesive proteins they express the parasites avoid immunity. Some of these proteins are responsible for severe malaria, for example some proteins bind infected red blood cells to blood vessels in the brain leading to the most fatal form of malaria, cerebral malaria. We recently discovered a complete set of the proteins expressed by parasites causing severe malaria in Papua. We now need to use our established serological assay to determine whether the immune response to these proteins is associated with protection from severe disease. Proteins which elicit protective immunity could be candidates for a severe malaria vaccine.
Faculty Research Themes
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PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
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