Photo credit: James Gathany/CDC

This area of our work seeks to protect mosquitoes from the malaria parasite.

MVI has outlined two priority program areas of work over the next several years, with the goal of declaring at least one product development candidate—a potential second-generation vaccine. Preventing transmission of the malaria parasite is the goal of MVI’s transmission-blocking vaccine (TBV) program.
 
A TBV is designed to prevent mosquitoes carrying malaria parasites from spreading them. A TBV would break the cycle of parasite transmission by protecting the mosquito from the malaria parasite even after the mosquito feeds on an infected person.
 
While a TBV, by itself, would not provide a direct and immediate benefit to the immunized individual against infection and illness, it would reduce the chances that other individuals in the community get malaria. Our goal, however, is to incorporate such a TBV approach into an anti-infection vaccine, thereby ensuring a direct clinical benefit to the individual. Over time, the TBV component would further decrease the probability that an individual who hasn’t been immunized would contract malaria.
 
Blocking transmission of malaria parasites is viewed as particularly important to malaria elimination and eradication efforts, including prevention of reintroduction of the disease. When used in conjunction with other malaria control tools, a vaccine able to protect the individual—and the mosquito—from parasite transmission could help push a geographic region past the threshold of control to elimination and, ultimately, eradication.