23 May 2017
Author(s): 
Van den Berg RA, Coccia M, Ballou WR, Kester KE, Ockenhouse CF, et al.

While the RTS,S malaria vaccine can protect against controlled human malaria infection (CHMI), little is known how it induces an immune response. This article, published by Frontiers in Immunology, examines immunogenicity and peripheral blood transcriptome data from a clinical trial in which healthy adults received three doses of RTS,S four weeks apart, followed by CHMI using Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites. While conducting a systems biology analysis of the findings, the authors determined that RTS,S-induced memory responses were capable of mobilizing natural killer cells or other sources of interferon gamma (IFNγ) production in the protective response to sporozoite challenge. The authors also identified genes warranting further study, which could be useful in understanding how RTS,S induces protection against malaria parasitemia.