Plasmodium falciparum infections present novel challenges for vaccine development, including parasite replication dynamics not previously encountered for viral pathogens, and enormous diversity in target antigens. These challenges are illustrated by using a mathematical model to describe the association between the proportion of pre-erythrocytic or blood-stage parasites eliminated by vaccine-induced immune responses and the proportion of infections prevented. It is hypothesized that due to the requirement for all sporozoites to be eliminated to prevent infection, combining infection-blocking vaccines that confer protection through different biological mechanisms could lead to synergistic combinations of efficacy. Vaccines targeting blood-stage parasites may also combine synergistically if they combine to reduce the parasite multiplication rate to below the threshold of 1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases