P. falciparum Malaria: Developing a Synthetic Subunit Candidate Vaccine

Malaria is one of the most serious infectious diseases of humans, infecting 5–10% of the world’s population, with 300–600 million clinical cases and more than 2 million deaths annually. Moreover, malaria is a major social and economic burden in endemic areas. In recent years, malaria has spread at an alarming rate owing to the increasing resistance of the parasite to drugs, and the resistance of mosquitoes to insecticides. Therefore, new approaches to combat malaria are urgently needed, and a vaccine is predicted to have the greatest impact in addition to being the most cost-effective control measure.

Vaccine Development

One approach is to design a subunit vaccine that incorporates several malaria protein antigens for which there is evidence of protective immunity from epidemiological data or experimental animal challenge models. Development of such subunit vaccines is critically dependent on the availability of an antigen delivery system to drive suitable protein antigen-specific immune responses in humans. Vaccine formulations have to be highly effective, human-compatible and safe. Production of synthetic or recombinant proteins that stably mimic the native structure of the corresponding malaria antigens to induce effective humoral immune responses is a further major challenge.

Our research

We are addressing both problems by developing synthetic peptide structures that induce cross-reactive antibodies against the parent malaria proteins and by coupling them to the surface of immunopotentiating reconstituted influenza virosomes (IRIVs). In addition we are evaluating the use of so fare uncharacterized predicted proteins of Plasmodium falciparum as potential new candidate vaccine antigens.


Anvari M.S, Belus J.M, Regenauer K.S, Myers B, Joska J, Magidson J.F. The combination of HIV and alcohol use internalized stigmas are associated with greater symptoms of depression in a South African sample living with HIV. Stigma Health. 2023;7(3):370-373. DOI: 10.1037/sah0000394

Abu-Odah H et al. Identifying barriers and facilitators of translating research evidence into clinical practice: A systematic review of reviews. Health Soc Care Community. 2022(in press). DOI: 10.1111/hsc.13898

Abubakr M et al. The Phylodynamic and spread of the invasive Asian malaria vectors, Anopheles stephensi, in Sudan. Biology (Basel). 2022;11(3):409. DOI: 10.3390/biology11030409

Abukhattab S et al. Systematic review and meta-analysis of integrated studies on salmonella and campylobacter prevalence, serovar, and phenotyping and genetic of antimicrobial resistance in the middle east—a One Health perspective. Antibiotics (Basel). 2022;11(5):536. DOI: 10.3390/antibiotics11050536

Adamawa State Primary Heath Care Development Agency (ADSPHCDA), ICRC, Swiss TPH. What is ALMANACH? [Video]: ICRC

Adebayo-Ojo T.C, Wichmann J, Arowosegbe O.O, Probst-Hensch N, Schindler C, Künzli N. Short-term joint effects of PM10, NO2 and SO2 on cardio-respiratory disease hospital admissions in Cape Town, South Africa. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19:495. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19010495

Aebi N.J et al. Association of different restriction levels with COVID-19-related distress and mental health in somatic inpatients: a secondary analysis of swiss general hospital data. Front Psychiatry. 2022;13:872116. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.872116

Ahmed A, Abubakr M, Ali Y, Siddig E.E, Mohamed N.S. Vector control strategy for Anopheles stephensi in Africa. Lancet Microbe. 2022;3(6):e403. DOI: 10.1016/S2666-5247(22)00039-8

Ahmed A, Ali Y, Salim B, Dietrich I, Zinsstag J. Epidemics of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in Sudan between 2010 and 2020. Microorganisms. 2022;10(5):928. DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms10050928

Ahmed A, Irish S.R, Zohdy S, Yoshimizu M, Tadesse F.G. Strategies for conducting Anopheles stephensi surveys in non-endemic areas. Acta Trop. 2022;236:106671. DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2022.106671