A replicating adenovirus capsid display recombinant elicits antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites in Aotus nancymaae monkeys

Kasey A. Karen, Cailin Deal, Robert J. Adams, Carolyn Nielsen, Cameron Ward, Diego A. Espinosa, Jane Xie, Fidel Zavala, Gary Ketner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Decades of success with live adenovirus vaccines suggest that replication-competent recombinant adenoviruses (rAds) could serve as effective vectors for immunization against other pathogens. To explore the potential of a live rAd vaccine against malaria, we prepared a viable adenovirus 5 (Ad5) recombinant that displays a B-cell epitope from the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) of Plasmodium falciparum on the virion surface. The recombinant induced P. falciparum sporozoite-neutralizing antibodies in mice. Human adenoviruses do not replicate in mice. Therefore, to examine immunogenicity in a system in which, as in humans, the recombinant replicates, we constructed a similar recombinant in an adenovirus mutant that replicates in monkey cells and immunized four Aotus nancymaae monkeys. The recombinant replicated in the monkeys after intratracheal instillation, the first demonstration of replication of human adenoviruses in New World monkeys. Immunization elicited antibodies both to the Plasmodium epitope and the Ad5 vector. Antibodies from all four monkeys recognized CSP on intact parasites, and plasma from one monkey neutralized sporozoites in vitro and conferred partial protection against P. falciparum sporozoite infection after passive transfer to mice. Prior enteric inoculation of two animals with antigenically wild-type adenovirus primed a response to the subsequent intratracheal inoculation, suggesting a route to optimizing performance. A vaccine is not yet available against P. falciparum, which induces the deadliest form of malaria and kills approximately one million children each year. The live capsid display recombinant described here may constitute an early step in a critically needed novel approach to malaria immunization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-275
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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