Recent advances in recombinant protein-based malaria vaccines

Simon J. Draper, Evelina Angov, Toshihiro Horii, Louis H. Miller, Prakash Srinivasan, Michael Theisen, Sumi Biswas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plasmodium parasites are the causative agent of human malaria, and the development of a highly effective vaccine against infection, disease and transmission remains a key priority. It is widely established that multiple stages of the parasite's complex lifecycle within the human host and mosquito vector are susceptible to vaccine-induced antibodies. The mainstay approach to antibody induction by subunit vaccination has been the delivery of protein antigen formulated in adjuvant. Extensive efforts have been made in this endeavor with respect to malaria vaccine development, especially with regard to target antigen discovery, protein expression platforms, adjuvant testing, and development of soluble and virus-like particle (VLP) delivery platforms. The breadth of approaches to protein-based vaccines is continuing to expand as innovative new concepts in next-generation subunit design are explored, with the prospects for the development of a highly effective multi-component/multi-stage/multi-antigen formulation seeming ever more likely. This review will focus on recent progress in protein vaccine design, development and/or clinical testing for a number of leading malaria antigens from the sporozoite-, merozoite- and sexual-stages of the parasite's lifecycle-including PfCelTOS, PfMSP1, PfAMA1, PfRH5, PfSERA5, PfGLURP, PfMSP3, Pfs48/45 and Pfs25. Future prospects and challenges for the development, production, human delivery and assessment of protein-based malaria vaccines are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7433-7443
Number of pages11
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 22 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Adjuvant
  • Antibody
  • Malaria
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Recombinant protein
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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