Development of a Bispecific Immune Engager Using a Recombinant Malaria Protein

Scientists used a protein conjugation system to produce a bispecific immune engager, V-aCD3, based on recombinant VAR2CSA as the cancer targeting moiety and an anti-CD3 single-chain variable fragment linked to a single-chain Fc as the immune engager.
[Cell Death & Disease]
Nordmaj, M. A., Roberts, M. E., Sachse, E. S., Dagil, R., Andersen, A. P., Skeltved, N., Grunddal, K. V., Erdoğan, S. M., Choudhary, S., Gustsavsson, T., Ørum-Madsen, M. S., Moskalev, I., Tian, W., Yang, Z., Clausen, T. M., Theander, T. G., Daugaard, M., Nielsen, M. A., & Salanti, A. (2021). Development of a bispecific immune engager using a recombinant malaria protein. Cell Death & Disease, 12(4), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41419-021-03611-0 Cite
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A VLP for Validation of the Plasmodium falciparum Circumsporozoite Protein Junctional Epitope for Vaccine Development

Researchers describe the development of a platform to supplement existing tools of pre-clinical malaria vaccine development, by displaying linear peptides on a virus-like particle
[npj Vaccines]
Atcheson, E., Hill, A. V. S., & Reyes-Sandoval, A. (2021). A VLP for validation of the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein junctional epitope for vaccine development. Npj Vaccines, 6(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41541-021-00302-x Cite
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Structural and Biophysical Correlation of Anti-NANP Antibodies with In Vivo Protection against P. falciparum

Scientists elucidated crystal structures, binding affinities and kinetics, and in vivo protection of eight anti-NANP antibodies derived from an RTS,S Phase IIa trial and encoded by three different heavy-chain germline genes.
[Nature Communications]
Pholcharee, T., Oyen, D., Flores-Garcia, Y., Gonzalez-Paez, G., Han, Z., Williams, K. L., Volkmuth, W., Emerling, D., Locke, E., Richter King, C., Zavala, F., & Wilson, I. A. (2021). Structural and biophysical correlation of anti-NANP antibodies with in vivo protection against P. falciparum. Nature Communications, 12(1), 1063. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21221-4 Cite
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Atypical B Cells Are Part of an Alternative Lineage of B Cells That Participates in Responses to Vaccination and Infection in Humans

Researchers used single-cell RNA sequencing to examine the diversity of both antigen-specific and total B cells in healthy subjects and malaria-exposed individuals.
[Cell Reports]
Sutton, H. J., Aye, R., Idris, A. H., Vistein, R., Nduati, E., Kai, O., Mwacharo, J., Li, X., Gao, X., Andrews, T. D., Koutsakos, M., Nguyen, T. H. O., Nekrasov, M., Milburn, P., Eltahla, A., Berry, A. A., Kc, N., Chakravarty, S., Sim, B. K. L., … Cockburn, I. A. (2021). Atypical B cells are part of an alternative lineage of B cells that participates in responses to vaccination and infection in humans. Cell Reports, 34(6). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108684 Cite
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Bioengineered 3D Microvessels for Investigating Plasmodium falciparum Pathogenesis

Recent bioengineering approaches allow for the generation of 3D microvessels and organ-specific vasculature that provide precise control of vessel architecture and flow dynamics, and hold great promise for malaria research.
[Trends in Parasitology]
Bernabeu, M., Howard, C., Zheng, Y., & Smith, J. D. (2021). Bioengineered 3D Microvessels for Investigating Plasmodium falciparum Pathogenesis. Trends in Parasitology, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pt.2020.12.008 Cite
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Zonal Human Hepatocytes Are Differentially Permissive to Plasmodium falciparum Malaria Parasites

To understand specific host conditions that affect infectivity, the authors studied Plasmodium falciparum parasite liver stage development in relation to the metabolic heterogeneity of fresh human hepatocytes.
[EMBO Journal]
Yang, A. S. P., van Waardenburg, Y. M., van de Vegte-Bolmer, M., van Gemert, G.-J. A., Graumans, W., de Wilt, J. H. W., & Sauerwein, R. W. (2021). Zonal human hepatocytes are differentially permissive to Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites. The EMBO Journal, n/a(n/a), e106583. https://doi.org/10.15252/embj.2020106583 Cite
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Impact of Placental Malaria on Maternal, Placental and Fetal Cord Responses and Its Role in Pregnancy Outcomes in Women from Blue Nile State, Sudan

Malaria infection in the collected maternal peripheral, placental, umbilical cord samples was determined microscopically, and ELISA was used to measure the plasma levels IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17A, and INF γ in the collected positive and negative malaria samples.
[Malaria Journal]
Omer, S., Franco-Jarava, C., Noureldien, A., Omer, M., Abdelrahim, M., Molina, I., & Adam, I. (2021). Impact of placental malaria on maternal, placental and fetal cord responses and its role in pregnancy outcomes in women from Blue Nile State, Sudan. Malaria Journal, 20(1), 35. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-021-03580-x Cite
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γδ T Cells Suppress Plasmodium falciparum Blood-Stage Infection by Direct Killing and Phagocyt

In the presence of patient serum, γδ2 T cells phagocytosed and degraded opsonized infected red blood cells in a CD16-dependent manner, decreasing parasite multiplication.
[Nature Immunology]
Junqueira, C., Polidoro, R. B., Castro, G., Absalon, S., Liang, Z., Sen Santara, S., Crespo, Â., Pereira, D. B., Gazzinelli, R. T., Dvorin, J. D., & Lieberman, J. (2021). γδ T cells suppress Plasmodium falciparum blood-stage infection by direct killing and phagocytosis. Nature Immunology, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41590-020-00847-4 Cite
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Manipulating Niche Composition Limits Damage to Haematopoietic Stem Cells during Plasmodium Infection

Using a murine model of malaria and combining single-cell RNA sequencing, mathematical modelling, transplantation assays and intravital microscopy, researchers showed that haematopoiesis was reprogrammed upon infection.
[Nature Cell Biology]
Manipulating niche composition limits damage to haematopoietic stem cells during Plasmodium infection | Nature Cell Biology. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2020, from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41556-020-00601-w Cite
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Manipulating Niche Composition Limits Damage to Hematopoietic Stem Cells during Plasmodium Infection

Using a murine model of malaria and combining single-cell RNA sequencing, mathematical modelling, transplantation assays and intravital microscopy, scientists showed that hematopoiesis was reprogrammed upon infection, whereby the hematopoietic stem cell (HCS) compartment turned over substantially faster than at steady-state and HSC function was drastically affected.
[Nature Cell Biology]
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Eliciting B Cell Immunity against Infectious Diseases Using Nanovaccines

The author provides a perspective on the global trends in emerging nanoscale vaccines for infectious diseases and describes the biological, experimental and logistical problems associated with their development, and how immunoengineering can be leveraged to overcome these challenges.
[Nature Nanotechnology]
Singh, A. (2020). Eliciting B cell immunity against infectious diseases using nanovaccines. Nature Nanotechnology, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41565-020-00790-3 Cite
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