WORMVACS2.0 - Innovations for vaccines against helminth infections

Infections with parasitic worms (helminths) continue to cause a massive global health burden. Yet, effective vaccines to enable control and elimination of helminth infections do not exist. Primary reasons for this are that target discovery approaches are not well developed, protective immune mechanisms are only partially clarified at best, production platforms tailored to specific helminth vaccine requirements are not available, and a pipeline for selecting and rapidly progressing pre-clinical and clinical vaccine candidates is generally lacking. Moreover, controlled human infection models are only now being developed and optimized for some of the most important human helminths. These models have not yet been widely implemented in vaccine development programs to date.

The objective of WORMVACS2.0 is to establish an effective pipeline to support helminth vaccine development focusing on schistosomes and hookworms, and ultimately the control and elimination of some of the world’s most devastating and persistent Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). We aim to achieve this through the development and application of an innovative approach leveraging controlled human infection models, novel platforms for helminth vaccine/vaccine antigen production, experimental animal models, and improved target discovery methodology applying state-of-the-art immunological profiling to identify correlates and signatures of protection.

WORMVACS2.0 will advance scientific and clinical knowledge of host immunity in response to helminth infection, apply innovative and sustainable platform technologies tailored to the next generation of effective vaccines against helminth infections of global importance. The project will produce a diversified portfolio of hookworm and schistosome vaccine candidates ready for progressing to clinical testing and conduct a phase 1 clinical trial to advance an mRNA platform-based schistosomiasis vaccine.


Jennifer Keiser

Jennifer Keiser, Associate Professor, PhD
Head of Unit


Project Facts