EDCTP Alumni Network

Fostering excellence and collaboration in the next generation of researchers

Call Senior Fellowship (SF)
Programme EDCTP2
Start Date 2020-04-01
End Date 2025-03-31
Project Code TMA2018SF-2471
Status Active

Title

Research Capacity Building by DHA-PQ SMC Clinical Trial in school aged children in Mali

Objectives

- Assess the impact of SMC on the incidence of clinical malaria and infection in school-aged children; - Evaluate the effect of SMC with DHA-PQ on malaria transmission, measured by the reduction in the prevalence of gametocytes in DHA-PQ treatment group; - Assess the impact of SMC on the genetic diversity of malaria parasites, measured by studying the dynamics of molecular markers associated with resistance to drugs used in SMC. - Evaluate the clinical tolerance of DHA-PQ compared to SP-AQ and control

Host Organisation

Institution Country
USTTB Mali

Participants

Name Institution Country
Karim Traore USTTB Mali

Study Design

Interventional study, Phase IV randomized trial with 3 treatment arms: DHA-PQ vs. SP-AQ vs. Albendazole. The trial was randomized double-blinded controlled. Efficacy and tolerability of Dihydroartemisinin-Piperaquine compared to Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine associated to Amodiaquine in Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention in school aged children from 6-15 years were assessed. Participants were followed for 12 months, 4 SMC rounds and 2 cross-sectional surveys were conducted.

Sites

MRTC- Bandiagara Malaria Project clinical center

Students Supervised

Type Name Title University Start Date End Date
MD candidate Mohamed Cisse USTTB 2019 2021
MD candidate Kindie Kouriba USTTB 2020 2022
MD candidate Souleymane Traore USTTB 2020 2022
MD candidate Youssouf Traore USTTB 2020 2022
Master student Bourema Guindo USTTB 2021
Master student Mohamed Cisse USTTB 2022

Results & Outcomes

We screened a total of 385 volunteers of which 345 were successfully enrolled. Thus, 116 were randomized to SP-AQ arm, 114 to treatment DHA-PQ arm and 115 to control arm. All randomized patients successfully completed the first two rounds of SMC. Two patients in SP-AQ arm and one patient in control arm missed the third round. In the fourth round, as in the cross-sectional visit, 113 volunteers from SP-AQ arm, 114 from DHA-PQ arm and 114 from control arm were seen. At the last cross-sectional survey, 105 volunteers from SP-AQ arm, 109 from DHA-PQ arm and 112 from control arm were seen. The total rates of lost to follow-up were 1.15% at the 4th SMC rounds, and 5.5% at the end of the study (last cross-sectional survey).

Current Organisation

Malaria Research and Training Center

Current Job Title

Senior Researcher

Students Supervised

Type Name Title University Start Date End Date
Master student Boureima Guindo Dr University of sciences, Technics and Technologies 2020
MD candidate Kinde Kouriba Mr University of sciences, Technics and Technologies 2020 2022
MD candidate Souleymane Traore Mr University of sciences, Technics and Technologies 2020 2022
MD Candidate Youssouf Traore Mr University of sciences, Technics and Technologies 2021 2022
MD candidate Mohamed Cisse Mr University of sciences, Technics and Technologies 2019 2021
Master student Mohamed Cisse Dr University of sciences, Technics and Technologies 2021

Memberships

Role Committee/board Start Date End Date
Editorial Team Revue Malienne d’Infectiologie et de Microbiologie 2021

Education

Institution Degree Year
Faculty of Medicine, Mali MD 2002-05-22
Faculty of Medicine and pharmacy, Senegal CES 2008-07-03
Faculty of Medicine and pharmacy, Senegal DES 2011-06-29
Faculty of Medicine and pharmacy, Senegal MSc 2012-02-02
University of Lyon, France PhD 2018-02-06
,

Areas Of Specialisation

Malaria Neglected Infectious Diseases (NID)

Grants

Grant Code:
EDCTP-CSA-Ethics-880-REECAO
Source of funding:
European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP)
Amount:
299881.48
Role:
Principal Investigator
Start Date:
2017-01-01
End Date:
2020-01-01

Publications

Authors:
Date:
2005-12-01
Journal:
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
Content:
Plasmodium falciparum and Schistosoma haematobium are co-endemic parasitic diseases with worldwide distribution. Evidence suggests interactions occur between helminthic and malaria infections, although it is unclear whether this effect is beneficial or harmful to the host. Malian children 4-14 years of age with asymptomatic S. haematobium infection (SP) (n = 338) were prospectively matched by age, sex, and residence to children without schistosomiasis (SN) (n = 338) who were cleared of occult intestinal parasites, and followed-up for one malaria transmission season (25 weeks). The time to the first clinical malaria infection, incidence of malaria episodes, and parasitemia were recorded. Age associated protection from malaria in children with schistosomiasis was observed. SP children (4-8 years of age) compared with SN children demonstrated delayed time to first clinical malaria infection (74 versus 59 days; P = 0.04), fewer numbers of malaria episodes (1.55 versus 1.81 infections; P = 0.03) and lower geometric mean parasite densities (6,359 versus 9,874 asexual forms/mm(3); P = 0.07) at first infection. No association between schistosomiasis and P. falciparum malaria was observed in children 9-14 years of age. We conclude that underlying schistosomiasis is associated with protection against clinical falciparum malaria in an age-dependent manner.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2016-03-25
Journal:
International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
Content:

Background

Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is one of the most devastating fungal diseases in patients with impaired immunity. Effective antiviral therapies have reduced the burden of PCP among AIDS patients, but an increase in the prevalence of this disease among persons receiving immunosuppressive therapies has been reported.

Methods

We retrospectively reviewed HIV and non-HIV PCP patients diagnosed in our department during a nine year period. Data were collected from the local database completed during the diagnosis procedure. For each patient, demographic, clinical, radiological, biological and therapeutic data were analyzed.

Results

A total of 21,274 bronchoalveolar samples were received from patients suspected of pneumocystosis during the study period, leading to a discharge diagnosis of PCP for 604 patients (143 HIV-positive and 461 HIV-negative). The ratio of non-HIV versus HIV patients presenting PCP increased from 1.7 to 5.6 during the study period. The mortality rate at day 14 was 16%, occurring mostly in non-HIV patients (20.6% compared to 1.4%, P<0.0001), while non-HIV patients were less symptomatic at diagnosis than AIDS patients.

Conclusions

This study presents one of the higher number of HIV and non-HIV patients presenting with PCP in a single center. Pneumocystosis is now a crucial health challenge for patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy, with a high mortality rate. This study highlights the need for international guidelines for prophylaxis of PCP in non-HIV patients.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2016-08-30
Journal:
Malaria journal
Content:

Background

The safety and immunogenicity of PfAMA1, adjuvanted with Alhydrogel(®) was assessed in malaria-experienced Malian adults. The malaria vaccine, PfAMA1-FVO [25-545] is a recombinant protein Pichia pastoris-expressed AMA-1 from Plasmodium falciparum FVO clone adsorbed to Alhydrogel(®), the control vaccine was tetanus toxoid produced from formaldehyde detoxified and purified tetanus toxin.

Methods

A double blind randomized controlled phase 1 study enrolled and followed 40 healthy adults aged 18-55 years in Bandiagara, Mali, West Africa, a rural setting with intense seasonal transmission of P. falciparum malaria. Volunteers were randomized to receive either 50 µg of malaria vaccine or the control vaccine. Three doses of vaccine were given on Days 0, 28 and 56, and participants were followed for 1 year. Solicited symptoms were assessed for seven days and unsolicited symptoms for 28 days after each vaccination. Serious adverse events were assessed throughout the study. The titres of anti-AMA-1 antibodies were measured by ELISA and P. falciparum growth inhibition assays were performed.

Results

Commonest local solicited adverse events were the injection site pain and swelling more frequent in the PfAMA1 group. No vaccine related serious adverse events were reported. A significant 3.5-fold increase of anti-AMA-1 IgG antibodies was observed in malaria vaccine recipients four weeks after the third immunization compared to the control group.

Conclusion

The PfAMA1 showed a good safety profile. Most adverse events reported were of mild to moderate intensity. In addition, the vaccine induced a significant though short-lived increase in the anti-AMA1 IgG titres. Registered on www.clinicaltrials.gov with the number NCT00431808.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2012-05-01
Journal:
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
Content:
The malaria vaccine RTS,S/AS01, based on immunogenic regions of the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (CSP), has partial efficacy against clinical malaria in African children. Understanding how sequence diversity in CSP T- and B-cell epitopes relates to naturally acquired and vaccine-induced immunity may be useful in efforts to improve the efficacy of CSP-based vaccines. However, limitations in sequencing technology have precluded thorough evaluation of diversity in the immunogenic regions of this protein. In this study, 454, a next generation sequencing technology, was evaluated as a method for assessing diversity in these regions. Portions of the circumsporozoite gene (cs) were sequenced both by 454 and Sanger sequencing from samples collected in a study in Bandiagara, Mali. 454 detected more single nucleotide polymorphisms and haplotypes in the T-cell epitopes than Sanger sequencing, and it was better able to resolve genetic diversity in samples with multiple infections; however, it failed to generate sequence for the B-cell epitopes.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2021-06-03
Journal:
International journal of molecular sciences
Content:
Artemether-lumefantrine is a highly effective artemisinin-based combination therapy that was adopted in Mali as first-line treatment for uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria. This study was designed to measure the efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine and to assess the selection of the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) and P. falciparum multi-drug resistance 1 (pfmdr1) genotypes that have been associated with drug resistance. A 28-day follow-up efficacy trial of artemether-lumefantrine was conducted in patients aged 6 months and older suffering from uncomplicated falciparum malaria in four different Malian areas during the 2009 malaria transmission season. The polymorphic genetic markers MSP2, MSP1, and Ca1 were used to distinguish between recrudescence and reinfection. Reinfection and recrudescence were then grouped as recurrent infections and analyzed together by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) to identify candidate markers for artemether-lumefantrine tolerance in the P. falciparum chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt) gene and the P. falciparum multi-drug resistance 1 (pfmdr1) gene. Clinical outcomes in 326 patients (96.7%) were analyzed and the 28-day uncorrected adequate clinical and parasitological response (ACPR) rate was 73.9%. The total PCR-corrected 28-day ACPR was 97.2%. The pfcrt 76T and pfmdr1 86Y population prevalence decreased from 49.3% and 11.0% at baseline (n = 337) to 38.8% and 0% in patients with recurrent infection (n = 85); p = 0.001), respectively. Parasite populations exposed to artemether-lumefantrine in this study were selected toward chloroquine-sensitivity and showed a promising trend that may warrant future targeted reintroduction of chloroquine or/and amodiaquine.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2021-11-30
Journal:
mSystems
Content:
var genes encode Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein-1 (PfEMP1) antigens. These highly diverse antigens are displayed on the surface of infected erythrocytes and play a critical role in immune evasion and sequestration of infected erythrocytes. Studies of var expression using non-leukocyte-depleted blood are challenging because of the predominance of host genetic material and lack of conserved var segments. Our goal was to enrich for parasite RNA, allowing de novo assembly of var genes and detection of expressed novel variants. We used two overall approaches: (i) enriching for total mRNA in the sequencing library preparations and (ii) enriching for parasite RNA with a custom capture array based on Roche's SeqCap EZ enrichment system. The capture array was designed with probes based on the whole 3D7 reference genome and an additional >4,000 full-length var gene sequences from other P. falciparum strains. We tested each method on RNA samples from Malian children with severe or uncomplicated malaria infections. All reads mapping to the human genome were removed, the remaining reads were assembled de novo into transcripts, and from these, var-like transcripts were identified and annotated. The capture array produced the longest maximum length and largest numbers of var gene transcripts in each sample, particularly in samples with low parasitemia. Identifying the most-expressed var gene sequences in whole-blood clinical samples without the need for extensive processing or generating sample-specific reference genome data is critical for understanding the role of PfEMP1s in malaria pathogenesis. IMPORTANCE Malaria parasites display antigens on the surface of infected red blood cells in the human host that facilitate attachment to blood vessels, contributing to the severity of infection. These antigens are highly variable, allowing the parasite to evade the immune system. Identifying these expressed antigens is critical to understanding the development of severe malarial disease. However, clinical samples contain limited amounts of parasite genetic material, a challenge for sequencing efforts further compounded by the extreme diversity of the parasite surface antigens. We present a method that enriches for these antigen sequences in clinical samples using a custom capture array, requiring minimal processing in the field. While our results are focused on the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, this approach has broad applicability to other highly diverse antigens from other parasites and pathogens such as those that cause giardiasis and leishmaniasis.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2014-07-03
Journal:
PloS one
Content:
The malaria vaccine candidate RTS,S/AS01 is based on immunogenic regions of Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (CSP) from the 3D7 reference strain and has shown modest efficacy against clinical disease in African children. It remains unclear what aspect(s) of the immune response elicited by this vaccine are protective. The goals of this study were to measure diversity in immunogenic regions of CSP, and to identify associations between polymorphism in CSP and the risk of P. falciparum infection and clinical disease. The present study includes data and samples from a prospective cohort study designed to measure incidence of malaria infection and disease in children in Bandiagara, Mali. A total of 769 parasite-positive blood samples corresponding to both acute clinical malaria episodes and asymptomatic infections experienced by 100 children were included in the study. Non-synonymous SNP data were generated by 454 sequencing for the T-cell epitopes, and repeat length data were generated for the B-cell epitopes of the cs gene. Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine the effect of sequence variation in consecutive infections occurring within individuals on the time to new infection and new clinical malaria episode. Diversity in the T-cell epitope-encoding regions Th2R and Th3R remained stable throughout seasons, between age groups and between clinical and asymptomatic infections with the exception of a higher proportion of 3D7 haplotypes found in the oldest age group. No associations between sequence variation and hazard of infection or clinical malaria were detected. The lack of association between sequence variation and hazard of infection or clinical malaria suggests that naturally acquired immunity to CSP may not be allele-specific.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2008-01-23
Journal:
PloS one
Content:

Background

The objective was to evaluate the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of the AMA-1-based blood-stage malaria vaccine FMP2.1/AS02A in adults exposed to seasonal malaria.

Methodology/principal findings

A phase 1 double blind randomized controlled dose escalation trial was conducted in Bandiagara, Mali, West Africa, a rural town with intense seasonal transmission of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The malaria vaccine FMP2.1/AS02A is a recombinant protein (FMP2.1) based on apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1) from the 3D7 clone of P. falciparum, adjuvanted with AS02A. The comparator vaccine was a cell-culture rabies virus vaccine (RabAvert). Sixty healthy, malaria-experienced adults aged 18-55 y were recruited into 2 cohorts and randomized to receive either a half dose or full dose of the malaria vaccine (FMP2.1 25 microg/AS02A 0.25 mL or FMP2.1 50 microg/AS02A 0.5 mL) or rabies vaccine given in 3 doses at 0, 1 and 2 mo, and were followed for 1 y. Solicited symptoms were assessed for 7 d and unsolicited symptoms for 30 d after each vaccination. Serious adverse events were assessed throughout the study. Titers of anti-AMA-1 antibodies were measured by ELISA and P. falciparum growth inhibition assays were performed on sera collected at pre- and post-vaccination time points. Transient local pain and swelling were common and more frequent in both malaria vaccine dosage groups than in the comparator group. Anti-AMA-1 antibodies increased significantly in both malaria vaccine groups, peaking at nearly 5-fold and more than 6-fold higher than baseline in the half-dose and full-dose groups, respectively.

Conclusion/significance

The FMP2.1/AS02A vaccine had a good safety profile, was well-tolerated, and was highly immunogenic in malaria-exposed adults. This malaria vaccine is being evaluated in Phase 1 and 2 trials in children at this site.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Karim Traore
Date:
2022-07-29
Journal:
eClinicalMedicine
Content:

Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) Sporozoite (SPZ) Chemoprophylaxis Vaccine (PfSPZ-CVac) involves concurrently administering infectious PfSPZ and malaria drug, often chloroquine (CQ), to kill liver-emerging parasites. PfSPZ-CVac (CQ) protected 100% of malaria-naïve participants against controlled human malaria infection. We investigated the hypothesis that PfSPZ-CVac (CQ) is safe and efficacious against seasonal, endemic Pf in malaria-exposed adults. Healthy 18–45 year olds were enrolled in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in Bougoula–Hameau, Mali, randomized 1:1 to 2.048 × 105 PfSPZ (PfSPZ Challenge) or normal saline administered by direct venous inoculation at 0, 4, 8 weeks. Syringes were prepared by pharmacy staff using online computer-based enrolment that randomized allocations. Clinical team and participant masking was assured by identical appearance of vaccine and placebo. Participants received chloroquine 600mg before first vaccination, 10 weekly 300mg doses during vaccination, then seven daily doses of artesunate 200mg before 24-week surveillance during the rainy season. Safety outcomes were solicited adverse events (AEs) and related unsolicited AEs within 12 days of injections, and all serious AEs. Pf infection was detected by thick blood smears performed every four weeks and during febrile illness over 48 weeks. Primary vaccine efficacy (VE) endpoint was time to infection at 24 weeks. NCT02996695.

62 participants were enrolled in April/May 2017. Proportions of participants experiencing at least one solicited systemic AE were similar between treatment arms: 6/31 (19.4%, 95%CI 9.2-36.3) of PfSPZ-CVac recipients versus 7/31 (22.6%, 95%CI 29.2-62.2) of controls (p value = 1.000). Two/31 (6%) in each group reported related, unsolicited AEs. One unrelated death occurred. Of 59 receiving 3 immunizations per protocol, fewer vaccinees (16/29, 55.2%) became infected than controls (22/30, 73.3%). VE was 33.6% by hazard ratio (p = 0.21, 95%CI -27·9, 65·5) and 24.8% by risk ratio (p = 0.10, 95%CI -4·8, 54·3). Antibody responses to PfCSP were poor; 28% of vaccinees sero-converted. PfSPZ-CVac (CQ) was well-tolerated. The tested dosing regimen failed to significantly protect against Pf infection in this very high transmission setting. U.S. National Institutes of Health, Sanaria.

Registration number: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02996695.

Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2005-10-13
Journal:
The Journal of infectious diseases
Content:

Background

Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TS) prophylaxis is recommended for persons living with human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in Africa. TS and the antimalarial combination sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) share mechanisms of action and resistance patterns, and concerns about the impact of TS resistance on SP efficacy have contributed to reluctance to implement TS prophylaxis in Africa.

Methods

To determine whether TS prophylaxis impairs SP efficacy for treatment of uncomplicated falciparum malaria, we conducted a randomized, controlled, open-label study of TS prophylaxis. Two hundred and forty children 5-15 years old were randomized in a 2 : 1 fashion to receive either thrice-weekly TS for 12 weeks or no prophylaxis and were treated with SP for subsequent episodes of malaria. The incidence of malaria, SP efficacy, and the prevalence of parasite mutations that confer antifolate drug resistance were measured.

Results

TS prophylaxis had a 99.5% protective efficacy against episodes of clinical malaria, with 97% efficacy against infection. Four SP treatment failures occurred in the control group, and none occurred in the TS group. No evidence was seen for selection by TS of antifolate resistance-conferring mutations in parasite dihydrofolate reductase or dihydropteroate synthase during subclinical infections.

Conclusions

In this setting of low antifolate resistance, TS was highly effective in preventing falciparum malaria infection and disease and did not appear to select for SP-resistant parasites.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2019-01-18
Journal:
Malaria journal
Content:

Background

A malaria vaccine based on Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1) elicited strain specific efficacy in Malian children that waned in the second season after vaccination despite sustained AMA1 antibody titers. With the goal of identifying a humoral correlate of vaccine-induced protection, pre- and post-vaccination sera from children vaccinated with the AMA1 vaccine and from a control group that received a rabies vaccine were tested for AMA1-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclasses (IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4) and for antibody avidity.

Methods

Samples from a previously completed Phase 2 AMA1 vaccine trial in children residing in Mali, West Africa were used to determine AMA1-specific IgG subclass antibody titers and avidity by ELISA. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess correlation between IgG subclass antibody titers and risk of time to first or only clinical malaria episode and risk of multiple episodes. Asexual P. falciparum parasite density measured for each child as area under the curve were used to assess correlation between IgG subclass antibody titers and parasite burden.

Results

AMA1 vaccination did not elicit a change in antibody avidity; however, AMA1 vaccinees had a robust IgG subclass response that persisted over the malaria transmission season. AMA1-specific IgG subclass responses were not associated with decreased risk of subsequent clinical malaria. For the AMA1 vaccine group, IgG3 levels at study day 90 correlated with high parasite burden during days 90-240. In the control group, AMA1-specific IgG subclass rise and persistence over the malaria season was modest and correlated with age. In the control group, titers of several IgG subclasses at days 90 and 240 correlated with parasite burden over the first 90 study days, and IgG3 at day 240 correlated with parasite burden during days 90-240.

Conclusions

Neither IgG subclass nor avidity was associated with the modest, strain-specific efficacy elicited by this blood stage malaria vaccine. Although a correlate of protection was not identified, correlations between subclass titers and age, and correlations between IgG subclass titers and parasite burden, defined by area under the curve parasitaemia levels, were observed, which expand knowledge about IgG subclass responses. IgG3, known to have the shortest half-life of the IgG subclasses, might be the most temporally relevant indicator of ongoing malaria exposure when examining antibody responses to AMA1.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2021-03-01
Journal:
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
Content:
Many African countries have reported declines in malaria incidence, attributed to the implementation of control strategies. In Mali, artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) was introduced in 2004, and long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) have been partially distributed free of charge since 2007. In the Malian town of Bandiagara, a study conducted from 2009 to 2013 showed a stable incidence of malaria compared with 1999, despite the implementation of ACTs and LLINs. Since 2016, seasonal malaria chemoprevention has been scaled up across the country. In addition to these strategies, the population of Bandiagara benefited from indoor residual spray implementation in 2017 and 2018 and continued universal bed net coverage. This study aimed to measure the incidence of malaria in Bandiagara, given this recent scaling up of control strategies. A cohort of 300 children aged 6 months to 15 years was followed up from October 2017 to December 2018. We performed monthly cross-sectional surveys to measure anemia and the prevalence of malaria infection by microscopy. The overall incidence of symptomatic malaria was 0.5 episodes/person-year. Malaria incidence in children up to 5 years old significantly declined since 2012 and since 1999 (incidence rate ratio estimates: 6.7 [95% CI: 4.2-11.4] and 13.5 [95% CI: 8.4-22.7]), respectively. The average prevalence of malaria parasitemia was 6.7%. Malaria incidence was higher in children older than 5 years than in those younger than 5 years, highlighting the need to extend malaria control efforts to these older children.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2020-07-07
Journal:
mSystems
Content:
Children are highly susceptible to clinical malaria, and in regions where malaria is endemic, their immune systems must face successive encounters with Plasmodium falciparum parasites before they develop immunity, first against severe disease and later against uncomplicated malaria. Understanding cellular and molecular interactions between host and parasites during an infection could provide insights into the processes underlying this gradual acquisition of immunity, as well as to how parasites adapt to infect hosts that are successively more malaria experienced. Here, we describe methods to analyze the host and parasite gene expression profiles generated simultaneously from blood samples collected from five consecutive symptomatic P. falciparum infections in three Malian children. We show that the data generated enable statistical assessment of the proportions of (i) each white blood cell subset and (ii) the parasite developmental stages, as well as investigations of host-parasite gene coexpression. We also use the sequences generated to analyze allelic variations in transcribed regions and determine the complexity of each infection. While limited by the modest sample size, our analyses suggest that host gene expression profiles primarily clustered by individual, while the parasite gene expression profiles seemed to differentiate early from late infections. Overall, this study provides a solid framework to examine the mechanisms underlying acquisition of immunity to malaria infections using whole-blood transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq).IMPORTANCE We show that dual RNA-seq from patient blood samples allows characterization of host/parasite interactions during malaria infections and can provide a solid framework to study the acquisition of antimalarial immunity, as well as the adaptations of P. falciparum to malaria-experienced hosts.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2015-06-16
Journal:
BMC medical ethics
Content:

Background

Obtaining informed consent for participation in genomic research in low-income settings presents specific ethical issues requiring attention. These include the challenges that arise when providing information about unfamiliar and technical research methods, the implications of complicated infrastructure and data sharing requirements, and the potential consequences of future research with samples and data. This study investigated researchers' and participants' parents' experiences of a consent process and understandings of a genome-wide association study of malaria involving children aged five and under in Mali. It aimed to inform best practices in recruiting participants into genomic research.

Methods

A qualitative rapid ethical assessment was undertaken. Fifty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted with the parents of research participants. An additional nine semi-structured interviews were conducted with senior research scientists, research assistants and with a member of an ethics committee. A focus group with five parents of research participants and direct observations of four consent processes were also conducted. French and translated English transcripts were descriptively and thematically coded using OpenCode software.

Results

Participants' parents in the MalariaGEN study had differing understandings of the causes of malaria, the rationale for collecting blood samples, the purposes of the study and the kinds of information the study would generate. Genomic aspects of the research, including the gene/environment interaction underlying susceptibility or resistance to severe malaria, proved particularly challenging to explain and understand.

Conclusions

This study identifies a number of areas to be addressed in the design of consent processes for genomic research, some of which require careful ethical analysis. These include determining how much information should be provided about differing aspects of the research and how best to promote understandings of genomic research. We conclude that it is important to build capacity in the design and conduct of effective and appropriate consent processes for genomic research in low and middle-income settings. Additionally, consideration should be given to the role of review committees and community consultation activities in protecting the interests of participants in genomic research.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2015-02-21
Journal:
Malaria journal
Content:

Background

Measurement of anti-malarial drug efficacy and resistance relies mainly on in vivo clinical trials, in vitro/ex vivo assays and molecular markers detection. The existing in vitro/ex vivo assays, in particular those that are using non-radioactive devices, need to be standardized and adapted to field conditions. SYBR Green assay offers a rapid and cheap alternative to other in vitro assays, but it requires tools not commonly available in field laboratories. Here is described a modified SYBR green I protocol to perform the parasite growth test with blood samples in endemic areas, followed later by the SYBR green fluorescence assay performed at a specialized laboratory level.

Methods

In vitro susceptibility of Plasmodium falciparum clones HB3, 3D7, W2 and 7G8 to chloroquine (CQ), dihydroartemisinin (DHA), pyronaridine (PYD) and piperaquine (PPQ) was tested. Fresh isolates of P. falciparum from imported malaria cases were collected for ex vivo assays. The parasite suspension was added in 96-well plates predosed with anti-malarial drugs and incubated for 72 hours at 37°C, 5% CO2. SYBR green I protocol was modified to dry the plates after freeze-thawed process to mimic storage and shipping conditions. The plates were rehydrated with 200 μl of complete RPMI medium for fluorescence assay.

Results

There were no significant differences in IC₅₀ values of CQ, DHA, PYD and PPQ, determined by the modified protocol, compared to standard protocol. Longer storage did not affect the IC₅₀ values.

Conclusion

The SYBR green I modified protocol produced reliable results and could be a suitable method for in vitro/ex vivo assays in field.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2014-09-19
Journal:
Malaria journal
Content:

Background

The recent decline in malaria incidence in many African countries has been attributed to the provision of prompt and effective anti-malarial treatment using artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) and to the widespread distribution of long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs). At a malaria vaccine-testing site in Bandiagara, Mali, ACT was introduced in 2004, and LLINs have been distributed free of charge since 2007 to infants after they complete the Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI) schedule and to pregnant women receiving antenatal care. These strategies may have an impact on malaria incidence.

Methods

To document malaria incidence, a cohort of 400 children aged 0 to 14 years was followed for three to four years up to July 2013. Monthly cross-sectional surveys were done to measure the prevalence of malaria infection and anaemia. Clinical disease was measured both actively and passively through continuous availability of primary medical care. Measured outcomes included asymptomatic Plasmodium infection, anaemia and clinical malaria episodes.

Results

The incidence rate of clinical malaria varied significantly from June 2009 to July 2013 without a clear downward trend. A sharp seasonality in malaria illness incidence was observed with higher clinical malaria incidence rates during the rainy season. Parasite and anaemia point prevalence also showed seasonal variation with much higher prevalence rates during rainy seasons compared to dry seasons.

Conclusions

Despite the scaling up of malaria prevention and treatment, including the widespread use of bed nets, better diagnosis and wider availability of ACT, malaria incidence did not decrease in Bandiagara during the study period.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2013-03-01
Journal:
Malaria journal
Content:

Background

Heterogeneous patterns of malaria transmission are thought to be driven by factors including host genetics, distance to mosquito breeding sites, housing construction, and socio-behavioural characteristics. Evaluation of local transmission epidemiology to characterize malaria risk is essential for planning malaria control and elimination programmes. The use of geographical information systems (GIS) techniques has been a major asset to this approach. To assess time and space distribution of malaria disease in Bandiagara, Mali, within a transmission season, data were used from an ongoing malaria incidence study that enrolled 300 participants aged under six years old".

Methods

Children's households were georeferenced using a handheld global position system. Clinical malaria was defined as a positive blood slide for Plasmodium falciparum asexual stages associated with at least one of the following signs: headache, body aches, fever, chills and weakness. Daily rainfall was measured at the local weather station.Landscape features of Bandiagara were obtained from satellite images and field survey. QGIS™ software was used to map malaria cases, affected and non-affected children, and the number of malaria episodes per child in each block of Bandiagara. Clusters of high or low risk were identified under SaTScan(®) software according to a Bernoulli model.

Results

From June 2009 to May 2010, 296 clinical malaria cases were recorded. Though clearly temporally related to the rains, Plasmodium falciparum occurrence persisted late in the dry season. Two "hot spots" of malaria transmission also found, notably along the Yamé River, characterized by higher than expected numbers of malaria cases, and high numbers of clinical episodes per child. Conversely, the north-eastern sector of the town had fewer cases despite its proximity to a large body of standing water which was mosquito habitat.

Conclusion

These results confirm the existence of a marked spatial heterogeneity of malaria transmission in Bandiagara, providing support for implementation of targeted interventions.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2020-06-20
Journal:
Vaccine
Content:
To prevent premature dismissal of promising vaccine programs, it is critical to determine if lack of efficacy in the field is due to allele specific-efficacy, rather than to the lack of immunogenicity of the candidate antigen. Here we use samples collected during a field trial of the AMA1-based FMP2.1/AS02A malaria vaccine, which incorporates the AMA1 variant encoded by the reference Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 strain, to assess the usefulness of epitope-based sieve analysis for the detection of vaccine-induced allele-specific immune responses. The samples used are from volunteers who received the malaria vaccine FMP2.1/AS02A or a control (rabies vaccine), during a vaccine efficacy field trial, and who later developed malaria. In a previous study, P. falciparum DNA was extracted from all samples, and the ama1 locus amplified and sequenced. Here, a sieve analysis was used to measure T and B-cell escape, and difference in 3D7-like epitopes in the two treatment arms. Overall, no difference was observed in mean amino acid distance to the 3D7 AMA1 variant between sequences from vaccinees and controls in B-cell epitopes. However, we found a significantly greater proportion of 3D7-like T-cell epitopes that map to the AMA1 cluster one loop (c1L) region in the control vs. the vaccinee group (p = 0.02), consistent with allele-specific vaccine efficacy. Interestingly, AMA1 epitopes in infections from vaccinees had higher mean IC50, and consequently lower binding affinity, than epitopes generated from the control group (p = 0.01), suggesting that vaccine-induced selection impacted the immunological profile of the strains that pass through the sieve imposed by the vaccine-induced protection. These findings are consistent with a vaccine-derived sieve effect on the c1L region of AMA1 and suggest that sieve analyses of malaria vaccine trial samples targeted to epitopes identified in silico can help identify protective malaria antigens that may be efficacious if combined in a multivalent vaccine.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2016-03-24
Journal:
Parasite (Paris, France)
Content:
There are growing data supporting the differences in susceptibility to malaria described between sympatric populations with different lifestyles. Evidence has also been growing for some time that nutritional status and the host's metabolism are part of the complex mechanisms underlying these differences. The role of dietary advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) in the modulation of immune responses (innate and adaptive responses) and chronic oxidative stress has been established. But less is known about AGE implication in naturally acquired immunity and susceptibility to malaria. Since inflammatory immune responses and oxidative events have been demonstrated as the hallmark of malaria infection, it seems crucial to investigate the role of AGE in susceptibility or resistance to malaria. This review provides new insight into the relationship between nutrition, metabolic disorders, and infections, and how this may influence the mechanisms of susceptibility or resistance to malaria in endemic areas.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2017-10-19
Journal:
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
Content:
In areas of seasonal malaria transmission, the incidence rate of malaria infection is presumed to be near zero at the end of the dry season. Asymptomatic individuals may constitute a major parasite reservoir during this time. We conducted a longitudinal analysis of the spatio-temporal distribution of clinical malaria and asymptomatic parasitemia over time in a Malian town to highlight these malaria transmission dynamics. For a cohort of 300 rural children followed over 2009-2014, periodicity and phase shift between malaria and rainfall were determined by spectral analysis. Spatial risk clusters of clinical episodes or carriage were identified. A nested-case-control study was conducted to assess the parasite carriage factors. Malaria infection persisted over the entire year with seasonal peaks. High transmission periods began 2-3 months after the rains began. A cluster with a low risk of clinical malaria in the town center persisted in high and low transmission periods. Throughout 2009-2014, cluster locations did not vary from year to year. Asymptomatic and gametocyte carriage were persistent, even during low transmission periods. For high transmission periods, the ratio of asymptomatic to clinical cases was approximately 0.5, but was five times higher during low transmission periods. Clinical episodes at previous high transmission periods were a protective factor for asymptomatic carriage, but carrying parasites without symptoms at a previous high transmission period was a risk factor for asymptomatic carriage. Stable malaria transmission was associated with sustained asymptomatic carriage during dry seasons. Control strategies should target persistent low-level parasitemia clusters to interrupt transmission.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2015-01-01
Journal:
Revue Malienne d’Infectiologie et de Microbiologie , Tome 5
Content:
Identifiers:
Authors:
Karim Traore , author
Georges Snounou , editor
Salimata Konate , author
Mahamadou A. Thera , author
Amadou Niangaly , author
Alhassane Ba , author
Alassane Niare , author
Charles Arama , author
Julie Di Cristofaro , author
Mounirou Baby , author
Stephane Picot , author
Jacques Chiaroni , author
Gilles Boetsch , author
Ogobara K. Doumbo , author
Date:
2019-01-04
Journal:
PLOS ONE
Content:
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2013-12-23
Journal:
PloS one
Content:
The HLA-G molecule plays an important role in immunomodulation. In a previous study carried out on a southern French population our team showed that HLA-G haplotypes, defined by SNPs in the coding region and specific SNPs located in 5'URR and 3'UTR regulatory regions, are associated with differential soluble HLA-G expression (sHLA-G). Furthermore, the structure of these HLA-G haplotypes appears to be conserved in geographically distant populations. The aim of our study is to confirm these expectations in a sub-Saharan African population and to explore additional factors, such as HLA-A alleles, that might influence sHLA-G expression. DNA and plasma samples were collected from 229 Malians; HLA-G and HLA-A genotyping were respectively performed by the Snap Shot® method and by Luminex™ technology. sHLA-G dosage was performed using an ELISA kit. HLA-G and HLA-A allelic and haplotypic frequencies were estimated using an EM algorithm from the Gene[Rate] program. Associations between genetic and non genetic parameters with sHLA-G were performed using a non-parametric test with GRAPH PAD Prism 5. Our results reveal a good conservation of the HLA-G UTR haplotype structure in populations with different origins and demographic histories. These UTR haplotypes appear to be involved in different sHLA-G expression patterns. Specifically, the UTR-2 haplotype was associated with low sHLA-G levels, displaying a dominant negative effect. Furthermore, an allelic effect of both HLA-G and HLA-A, as well as non genetic parameters, such as age and gender possibly linked to osteogenesis and sexual hormones, also seem to be involved in the modulation of sHLA-G. These data suggest that further investigation in larger cohorts and in populations from various ethnical backgrounds is necessary not only to detect new functional polymorphism in HLA-G regulatory regions, but also to reveal the extent of biological phenomena that influence sHLA-G secretion and this might therefore have an impact on transplantation practice.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2021-07-30
Journal:
Nature communications
Content:
Following Plasmodium falciparum infection, individuals can remain asymptomatic, present with mild fever in uncomplicated malaria cases, or show one or more severe malaria symptoms. Several studies have investigated associations between parasite transcription and clinical severity, but no broad conclusions have yet been drawn. Here, we apply a series of bioinformatic approaches based on P. falciparum's tightly regulated transcriptional pattern during its ~48-hour intraerythrocytic developmental cycle (IDC) to publicly available transcriptomes of parasites obtained from malaria cases of differing clinical severity across multiple studies. Our analysis shows that within each IDC, the circulation time of infected erythrocytes without sequestering to endothelial cells decreases with increasing parasitaemia or disease severity. Accordingly, we find that the size of circulating infected erythrocytes is inversely related to parasite density and disease severity. We propose that enhanced adhesiveness of infected erythrocytes leads to a rapid increase in parasite burden, promoting higher parasitaemia and increased disease severity.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Guillaune Bonot , Author
Date:
2017-12-20
Journal:
PLoS One.
Content:

The role of some nutrient-derived metabolites on the innate and adaptive immune responses is now established. Global research approach investigating the interplay between environment, lifestyle and the host's immune responses is crucial in the understanding of malaria susceptibility. Advanced Glycation end products (AGE), which are food-derived metabolites result from the link between reducing sugar and amino group of proteins, lipids or nucleic acids. The level of exposure to AGEs varies depending on the type of diet. The dysfunction of the immune system induced by AGE and the cellular receptors for AGEs (RAGE) in susceptibility to bacterial infection has been described. But no study has yet explored their role in susceptibility to malaria. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate systemic AGE and RAGE gene polymorphism in two sympatric populations with previously described difference of susceptibility to malaria. We measured by ELISA the plasma levels of AGEs, and their soluble receptors (sRAGE) from 170 volunteers (68 Fulani and 102 Dogon). We also determined by real-time quantitative PCR the expression of RAGE, and the -374 T/A, -429 T/C polymorphisms and 63 bp deletion by fragment length restriction polymorphism. The prevalence rate of Plasmodium in Fulani and Dogon were respectively 42.64% and 51.30% for P. falciparum, 5.88% and 6.5% for P. malariae, 0% and 2.6% for P. ovale. The average AGE was 12.65 μg/ml, and 496.48pg/ml for sRAGE. Highest levels of sRAGE were observed in Fulani (563,07pg/ml, 95% CI [547.81-580.13] vs 465.68pg/ml, 95% CI [331.19-467.51]) for Dogon, p = 0.00001. Fulani had the lowest mean of AGE (10.21μg/ml, 95% CI [8.02-10.92]) compared to Dogon (16.88μg/ml, 95% CI [13.92-17.96]; p = 0.00001. RAGE was more expressed in Dogon than Fulani (0.08 vs 0.04), P = 0.08. The -374A polymorphism vas more frequent in Fulani (32%) compared to Dogon (20%). The chronic exposure to dietary AGE could lead to immune responses impairment and polymorphism with implications in malaria susceptibility. More studies are necessary to better investigate this hypothesis.

Identifiers:
PMCID: PMC5738089 PMID: 29261755: not informed
Authors:
Date:
2015-05-27
Journal:
The Journal of infectious diseases
Content:

Background

Hemoglobin C trait, like hemoglobin S trait, protects against severe malaria in children, but it is unclear whether hemoglobin C trait also protects against uncomplicated malaria. We hypothesized that Malian children with hemoglobin C trait would have a lower risk of clinical malaria than children with hemoglobin AA.

Methods

Three hundred children aged 0-6 years were enrolled in a cohort study of malaria incidence in Bandiagara, Mali, with continuous passive and monthly active follow-up from June 2009 to June 2010.

Results

Compared to hemoglobin AA children (n = 242), hemoglobin AC children (n = 39) had a longer time to first clinical malaria episode (hazard ratio [HR], 0.19; P = .001; 364 median malaria-free days vs 181 days), fewer episodes of clinical malaria, and a lower cumulative parasite burden. Similarly, hemoglobin AS children (n = 14) had a longer time to first clinical malaria episode than hemoglobin AA children (HR, 0.15; P = .015; 364 median malaria-free days vs 181 days), but experienced the most asymptomatic malaria infections of any group.

Conclusions

Both hemoglobin C and S traits exerted a protective effect against clinical malaria episodes, but appeared to do so by mechanisms that differentially affect the response to infecting malaria parasites.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2016-01-31
Journal:
Journal of Parasitology and Vector Biology
Content:
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2017-12-20
Journal:
PloS one
Content:
The role of some nutrient-derived metabolites on the innate and adaptive immune responses is now established. Global research approach investigating the interplay between environment, lifestyle and the host's immune responses is crucial in the understanding of malaria susceptibility. Advanced Glycation end products (AGE), which are food-derived metabolites result from the link between reducing sugar and amino group of proteins, lipids or nucleic acids. The level of exposure to AGEs varies depending on the type of diet. The dysfunction of the immune system induced by AGE and the cellular receptors for AGEs (RAGE) in susceptibility to bacterial infection has been described. But no study has yet explored their role in susceptibility to malaria. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate systemic AGE and RAGE gene polymorphism in two sympatric populations with previously described difference of susceptibility to malaria. We measured by ELISA the plasma levels of AGEs, and their soluble receptors (sRAGE) from 170 volunteers (68 Fulani and 102 Dogon). We also determined by real-time quantitative PCR the expression of RAGE, and the -374 T/A, -429 T/C polymorphisms and 63 bp deletion by fragment length restriction polymorphism. The prevalence rate of Plasmodium in Fulani and Dogon were respectively 42.64% and 51.30% for P. falciparum, 5.88% and 6.5% for P. malariae, 0% and 2.6% for P. ovale. The average AGE was 12.65 μg/ml, and 496.48pg/ml for sRAGE. Highest levels of sRAGE were observed in Fulani (563,07pg/ml, 95% CI [547.81-580.13] vs 465.68pg/ml, 95% CI [331.19-467.51]) for Dogon, p = 0.00001. Fulani had the lowest mean of AGE (10.21μg/ml, 95% CI [8.02-10.92]) compared to Dogon (16.88μg/ml, 95% CI [13.92-17.96]; p = 0.00001. RAGE was more expressed in Dogon than Fulani (0.08 vs 0.04), P = 0.08. The -374A polymorphism vas more frequent in Fulani (32%) compared to Dogon (20%). The chronic exposure to dietary AGE could lead to immune responses impairment and polymorphism with implications in malaria susceptibility. More studies are necessary to better investigate this hypothesis.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2011-09-01
Journal:
The New England journal of medicine
Content:

Background

Blood-stage malaria vaccines are intended to prevent clinical disease. The malaria vaccine FMP2.1/AS02(A), a recombinant protein based on apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1) from the 3D7 strain of Plasmodium falciparum, has previously been shown to have immunogenicity and acceptable safety in Malian adults and children.

Methods

In a double-blind, randomized trial, we immunized 400 Malian children with either the malaria vaccine or a control (rabies) vaccine and followed them for 6 months. The primary end point was clinical malaria, defined as fever and at least 2500 parasites per cubic millimeter of blood. A secondary end point was clinical malaria caused by parasites with the AMA1 DNA sequence found in the vaccine strain.

Results

The cumulative incidence of the primary end point was 48.4% in the malaria-vaccine group and 54.4% in the control group; efficacy against the primary end point was 17.4% (hazard ratio for the primary end point, 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.63 to 1.09; P=0.18). Efficacy against the first and subsequent episodes of clinical malaria, as defined on the basis of various parasite-density thresholds, was approximately 20%. Efficacy against clinical malaria caused by parasites with AMA1 corresponding to that of the vaccine strain was 64.3% (hazard ratio, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.08 to 0.86; P=0.03). Local reactions and fever after vaccination were more frequent with the malaria vaccine.

Conclusions

On the basis of the primary end point, the malaria vaccine did not provide significant protection against clinical malaria, but on the basis of secondary results, it may have strain-specific efficacy. If this finding is confirmed, AMA1 might be useful in a multicomponent malaria vaccine. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00460525.).
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2010-02-04
Journal:
PloS one
Content:

Background

The objective was to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the AMA1-based malaria vaccine FMP2.1/AS02(A) in children exposed to seasonal falciparum malaria.

Methodology/principal findings

A Phase 1 double blind randomized controlled dose escalation trial was conducted in Bandiagara, Mali, West Africa, a rural town with intense seasonal transmission of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The malaria vaccine FMP2.1/AS02(A) is a recombinant protein (FMP2.1) based on apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1) from the 3D7 clone of P. falciparum, formulated in the Adjuvant System AS02(A). The comparator vaccine was a cell-culture rabies virus vaccine (RabAvert). One hundred healthy Malian children aged 1-6 years were recruited into 3 cohorts and randomized to receive either 10 microg FMP2.1 in 0.1 mL AS02(A), or 25 microg FMP2.1 in 0.25 mL AS02(A), or 50 microg FMP2.1 50 microg in 0.5 mL AS02(A), or rabies vaccine. Three doses of vaccine were given at 0, 1 and 2 months, and children were followed for 1 year. Solicited symptoms were assessed for 7 days and unsolicited symptoms for 30 days after each vaccination. Serious adverse events were assessed throughout the study. Transient local pain and swelling were common and more frequent in all malaria vaccine dosage groups than in the comparator group, but were acceptable to parents of participants. Levels of anti-AMA1 antibodies measured by ELISA increased significantly (at least 100-fold compared to baseline) in all 3 malaria vaccine groups, and remained high during the year of follow up.

Conclusion/significance

The FMP2.1/AS02(A) vaccine had a good safety profile, was well-tolerated, and induced high and sustained antibody levels in malaria-exposed children. This malaria vaccine is being evaluated in a Phase 2 efficacy trial in children at this site.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00358332 [NCT00358332].
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2017-03-28
Journal:
Genome medicine
Content:

Background

Encoded by the var gene family, highly variable Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein-1 (PfEMP1) proteins mediate tissue-specific cytoadherence of infected erythrocytes, resulting in immune evasion and severe malaria disease. Sequencing and assembling the 40-60 var gene complement for individual infections has been notoriously difficult, impeding molecular epidemiological studies and the assessment of particular var elements as subunit vaccine candidates.

Methods

We developed and validated a novel algorithm, Exon-Targeted Hybrid Assembly (ETHA), to perform targeted assembly of var gene sequences, based on a combination of Pacific Biosciences and Illumina data.

Results

Using ETHA, we characterized the repertoire of var genes in 12 samples from uncomplicated malaria infections in children from a single Malian village and showed them to be as genetically diverse as vars from isolates from around the globe. The gene var2csa, a member of the var family associated with placental malaria pathogenesis, was present in each genome, as were vars previously associated with severe malaria.

Conclusion

ETHA, a tool to discover novel var sequences from clinical samples, will aid the understanding of malaria pathogenesis and inform the design of malaria vaccines based on PfEMP1. ETHA is available at: https://sourceforge.net/projects/etha/ .
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2013-11-18
Journal:
PloS one
Content:

Background

The FMP2.1/AS02A candidate malaria vaccine was tested in a Phase 2 study in Mali. Based on results from the first eight months of follow-up, the vaccine appeared well-tolerated and immunogenic. It had no significant efficacy based on the primary endpoint, clinical malaria, but marginal efficacy against clinical malaria in secondary analyses, and high allele-specific efficacy. Extended follow-up was conducted to evaluate extended safety, immunogenicity and efficacy.

Methods

A randomized, double-blinded trial of safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of the candidate Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1) vaccine FMP2.1/AS02A was conducted in Bandiagara, Mali. Children aged 1-6 years were randomized in a 1∶1 ratio to receive FMP2.1/AS02A or control rabies vaccine on days 0, 30 and 60. Using active and passive surveillance, clinical malaria and adverse events as well as antibodies against P. falciparum AMA1 were monitored for 24 months after the first vaccination, spanning two malaria seasons.

Findings

400 children were enrolled. Serious adverse events occurred in nine participants in the FMP2.1/AS02A group and three in the control group; none was considered related to study vaccination. After two years, anti-AMA1 immune responses remained significantly higher in the FMP2.1/AS02A group than in the control group. For the entire 24-month follow-up period, vaccine efficacy was 7.6% (p = 0.51) against first clinical malaria episodes and 9.9% (p = 0.19) against all malaria episodes. For the final 16-month follow-up period, vaccine efficacy was 0.9% (p = 0.98) against all malaria episodes. Allele-specific efficacy seen in the first malaria season did not extend into the second season of follow-up.

Interpretation

Allele-specific vaccine efficacy was not sustained in the second malaria season, despite continued high levels of anti-AMA1 antibodies. This study presents an opportunity to evaluate correlates of partial protection against clinical malaria that waned during the second malaria season.

Trial registration

Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00460525 NCT00460525.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2004-08-01
Journal:
Vaccine
Content:
Potential endpoints for blood stage malaria vaccine efficacy trials include uncomplicated malaria disease, which is hard to differentiate from other febrile illnesses, and mortality, which requires prohibitively large sample sizes. Strictly defined severe malaria predicts malaria-associated mortality where case fatality rates are known. To assess the suitability of severe malaria as a trial endpoint, we conducted a census in 1999 and measured the incidence of severe malaria from 1999 to 2001 in Bandiagara, Mali. The annual incidence of severe malaria in children <6 years of age was 2.3% (n = 2,284) yielding an estimated sample size of 4,580 for a vaccine trial designed to detect 50% efficacy with 80% power at P = 0.05 with 5% loss to follow-up. A trial using severe malaria as an endpoint in this setting would thus require expanding the study population or the length of the trial. This approach may be useful in assessing the suitability of potential sites for malaria vaccine trials.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2009-10-01
Journal:
Science translational medicine
Content:
Vaccines directed against the blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum malaria are intended to prevent the parasite from invading and replicating within host cells. No blood-stage malaria vaccine has shown clinical efficacy in humans. Most malaria vaccine antigens are parasite surface proteins that have evolved extensive genetic diversity, and this diversity could allow malaria parasites to escape vaccine-induced immunity. We examined the extent and within-host dynamics of genetic diversity in the blood-stage malaria vaccine antigen apical membrane antigen-1 in a longitudinal study in Mali. Two hundred and fourteen unique apical membrane antigen-1 haplotypes were identified among 506 human infections, and amino acid changes near a putative invasion machinery binding site were strongly associated with the development of clinical symptoms, suggesting that these residues may be important to consider in designing polyvalent apical membrane antigen-1 vaccines and in assessing vaccine efficacy in field trials. This extreme diversity may pose a serious obstacle to an effective polyvalent recombinant subunit apical membrane antigen-1 vaccine.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2007-03-01
Journal:
PLoS medicine
Content:

Background

Malaria vaccines based on the 19-kDa region of merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1(19)) derived from the 3D7 strain of Plasmodium falciparum are being tested in clinical trials in Africa. Knowledge of the distribution and natural dynamics of vaccine antigen polymorphisms in populations in which malaria vaccines will be tested will guide vaccine design and permit distinction between natural fluctuations in genetic diversity and vaccine-induced selection.

Methods and findings

Using pyrosequencing, six single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the nucleotide sequence encoding MSP-1(19) were genotyped from 1,363 malaria infections experienced by 100 children who participated in a prospective cohort study in Mali from 1999 to 2001. The frequencies of 14 MSP-1(19) haplotypes were compared over the course of the malaria transmission season for all three years, in three age groups, and in consecutive infections within individuals. While the frequency of individual MSP-1(19) haplotypes fluctuated, haplotypes corresponding to FVO and FUP strains of P. falciparum (MSP-1(19) haplotypes QKSNGL and EKSNGL, respectively) were most prevalent during three consecutive years and in all age groups with overall prevalences of 46% (95% confidence interval [CI] 44%-49%) and 36% (95% CI 34%-39%), respectively. The 3D7 haplotype had a lower overall prevalence of 16% (95% CI 14%-18%). Multiplicity of infection based on MSP-1(19) was higher at the beginning of the transmission season and in the oldest individuals (aged > or =11 y). Three MSP-1(19) haplotypes had a reduced frequency in symptomatic infections compared to asymptomatic infections. Analyses of the dynamics of MSP-1(19) polymorphisms in consecutive infections implicate three polymorphisms (at positions 1691, 1700, and 1701) as being particularly important in determining allele specificity of anti-MSP-1(19) immunity.

Conclusions

Parasites with MSP-1(19) haplotypes different from that of the leading vaccine strain were consistently the most prevalent at a vaccine trial site. If immunity elicited by an MSP-1-based vaccine is allele-specific, a vaccine based on either the FVO or FUP strain might have better initial efficacy at this site. This study, to our knowledge the largest of its kind to date, provides molecular information needed to interpret population responses to MSP-1-based vaccines and suggests that certain MSP-1(19) polymorphisms may be relevant to cross-protective immunity.
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2016-01-28
Journal:
PloS one
Content:
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101783.].
Identifiers:
Authors:
Date:
2006-08-01
Journal:
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
Content:
Neutralizing antibodies to glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs), which are Plasmodium falciparum surface protein anchor molecules implicated in malaria pathogenesis, are thought to protect against symptomatic malaria. Index cases of severe malaria in Malian children 3 months to 14 years of age were matched by age and residence to uncomplicated malaria and healthy controls. Serum antibodies to GPI (IgM and IgG) were measured at the time of severe malaria and after the malaria transmission season. The mean optical density values for IgM and IgG antibodies were higher in children with severe or uncomplicated malaria compared with healthy controls. Similarly, higher percentages of children with IgM and IgG antibodies to GPI were observed in the severe malaria group compared with matched healthy controls. IgG antibody levels to GPI were highest among children with cerebral malaria and children who died. The IgG antibody levels to GPI peaked during periods of malaria transmission and decreased after malaria transmission ended. A direct correlation between age and parasitemia and IgG antibodies to GPI was observed. In summary, higher levels of IgM and IgG antibodies to GPI in young children were associated with disease severity and were short-lived.
Identifiers:

Projects

Fellow:
Karim Traore
Collaborators:
Name Country Institution
Dr Karim Traore Mali MRTC
Pr Abraham Kwabena Anang Ghana NMIMR
Dr Abdoul Habib Beavogui Guinea CNFR
Pr Emmanuele Gormally France Lyon Catholic University
Objectives:
Strengthen ethics committees capacities in west Africa by training and networking
Sites:
Mali, Guinea, Ghana, France
Study Design:
Ethical consortium to strengthen capacities of ethics committees in west Africa Organisation of training session in ethics, cases studies, Hotline, standardisation of procedures
Subjects:
Ethics committees members
Start Date:
2017-04-01
End Date:
2020-09-30
Fellow:
Karim Traore
Collaborators:
Name Country Institution
Karim Traore Mali MRTC
Objectives:
1. The overall objective is to assess a seasonal preventive strategy targeting school-aged children in Mali, using either Dihydroartemisinin and Piperaquine (DHA-PQ), SP-AQ or control.
Sites:
BMP-Bandiagara
Study Design:
A double blind randomized controlled clinical trial to assess the efficacy of Dihydroartemisinin-Piperaquine and Sulfadoxine-Pyrimethamine associated to Amodiaquine for Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention in school children aged from 6-15 years in Mali, 3 treatments arms. Four SMC rounds were conducted
Subjects:
School aged children (6-15 years old at Bandiagara, Mali
Outcomes:
Incidence of clinical malaria and prevalence of malaria infection by treatment arms; Incidence of adverse events reported following administration of study drugs by treatment arms; Prevalence of malaria parasitaemia (sexual and asexual forms) at monthly visits by treatment arms: Prevalence of anemia; Prevalence of resistance markers to artemisinin and Piperaquine in children carrying parasites at the end of malaria transmission seasons; Dynamics of children performance at schools during the study period; Parasite genetic diversity. The trial has been completed in September 2021; the last participant last visit occurred on September 21st, 2021. The trial results have been successively presented at EDCTP tenth meeting, the congress of the African Society of Parasitology, and an abstract is submitted and accepted as poster presentation to the ASTMH meeting. Overall, DHA-PQ and SP-AQ showed a good tolerability and high efficacy in SMC in school-aged children. The analysis of data and samples are ongoing in the laboratories to address other endpoints.
Linked Grant:
EDCTP Clinical Research & Development Fellowship
Start Date:
2020-09-12
End Date:
2021-09-21

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