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Malaria: Therapy, Genes and Vaccines

[ Vol. 6 , Issue. 3 ]


Peter K. Chiang, Janusz M. Bujnicki, Xinzhuan Su and David E. Lanar   Pages 309 - 326 ( 18 )


Malaria kills over 3,000 children each day. Modern molecular and biochemical approaches are being used to help understand and control Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes this deadly disease. New drugs are being invented for both chemoprophylaxis and therapeutic treatments and their use is discussed along side that of the more commonly used treatments. Classical genetic crosses coupled with molecular analysis of gene loci are use to explain the genetics behind the development of specific drug resistances that the parasites have naturally developed. Rapid advances in DNA sequencing techniques have allowed the compete sequencing of the P. falciparum and several other rodent malaria parasite genomes. Proteomics and computational analysis of these vast databanks are being used to model and investigate the three-dimensional structure of many key malaria proteins in an attempt to facilitate drug design. Recombinant protein expression in bacteria and yeast coupled with cGMP purification technologies and conditions have lead to the recent availability of several dozen malaria protein antigens for human-use Phase I and Phase II vaccine trials. Drug companies, private foundations, and key government agencies have contributed to the coordinated efforts needed to test these antigens, adjuvants and delivery methods in an effort to find an effective malaria vaccine that will prevent infection and disease.


P. falciparum, antimalarial drugs, Artemisinin, Malaria Prophylaxis, chloroquine resistance (CQR)


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