Malaria Transmission Biology

Malaria Transmission Biology

Our research has led to the discovery of a mosquito-based malaria transmission-blocking vaccine (TBV) candidate (the AnAPN1 TBV), which has recently completed process development studies and is under consideration for First-In-Human trials in the near future.  We were the first to provide proof of concept demonstrations of the potential utility of mosquito based TBVs to control both human malaria parasite species (P. falciparum and P. vivax) in diverse anopheline vector species across the globe. Our multi-OMICS strategy perspective has also led to the discovery of a novel small molecule with potent malaria transmission-blocking properties, the identification of the Plasmodium protein target that is blocked by this small molecule, the completion of the P. falciparum life cycle in vitro (liver stages), a novel saliva-based rapid diagnostic test for malaria, and new insight into vector host-parasite interactions during oocyst development, to name a few.  To support the discovery and translational research pipeline, we are also developing novel, single dose drug and vaccine delivery methods that are appropriate for malaria endemic countries in the developing world.  TEAM MALARIA is composed of 4 postdoctoral associates, 1 PhD student, the lab manager, Center Program Coordinator, and a lateral flow chemist.  One postdoc and PhD student also serves as a bridge with TEAM ARBO.
[Pictured: Anopheles gambiae midgut infected with P. falciparum oocysts that have burst open to release thousands of sporozoites]

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First in human clinical trials of the AnAPN1 malaria transmission-blocking vaccine

Former director of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, Christian Loucq, M.D., says it is exciting to see Dinglasan's concept moving toward a clinical trial. "There are very interesting issues to be addressed in this project which span the technical, immunological, strategic, regulatory and behavioral," says Dr. Loucq, who also formerly directed the International Vaccine Institute. "A transmission-blocking vaccine would be the most elegant solution to the problem of malaria."

Clustered rapid induction of apoptosis limits ZIKV and DENV-2 proliferation in the midguts of Aedes aegypti

Jasmine's 1st first-author paper (Yay Jasmine!) that dissects very early innate immune defense mechanisms of mosquito vectors following infection with flaviviruses.

UF Professor of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Rhoel Dinglasan, discusses the new saliva COVID tests