Scientists manufacture malaria sporozoites without mosquitoes

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

December 8, 2022 -- Sanaria scientists have manufactured Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) sporozoites (SPZ) in vitro, enabling the critical, first breakthrough steps to scale up manufacturing of the PfSPZ malaria vaccine.

Currently, PfSPZ vaccines are manufactured in mosquitos, which makes this discovery a potential game changer because mosquitoes are no longer required. The team cultured the malaria parasite's blood stages, which led to a better understanding of parasite biology and provided tools for vaccine development, the scientists said (Nature, December 7, 2022).

Their paper describes -- for the first time -- the completion of the Pf life cycle without needing mosquitoes and elucidates the comparative biology of in vitro PfSPZ with those produced in mosquitoes at the cellular, molecular, and functional levels through gene expression-, antigen expression-, morphological-, and infectivity studies, the researchers said.

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