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Consistent Safety and Infectivity in Sporozoite Challenge Model of Plasmodium vivax in Malaria-Naive Human Volunteers

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  • Instituto de Inmunología, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia; Malaria Vaccine and Drug Development Center, Cali, Colombia; Division of Infectious Diseases, Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil; Fundación Clínica Valle del Lili Cali, Colombia; U.S. Military Malaria Vaccine Program, Naval Medical Research Center, Silver Spring, Maryland

A safe and reproducible Plasmodium vivax infectious challenge method is required to evaluate the efficacy of malaria vaccine candidates. Seventeen healthy Duffy (+) and five Duffy (−) subjects were randomly allocated into three (A–C) groups and were exposed to the bites of 2–4 Anopheles albimanus mosquitoes infected with Plasmodium vivax derived from three donors. Duffy (−) subjects were included as controls for each group. Clinical manifestations of malaria and parasitemia were monitored beginning 7 days post-challenge. All Duffy (+) volunteers developed patent malaria infection within 16 days after challenge. Prepatent period determined by thick smear, was longer for Group A (median 14.5 d) than for Groups B and C (median 10 d/each). Infected volunteers recovered rapidly after treatment with no serious adverse events. The bite of as low as two P. vivax-infected mosquitoes provides safe and reliable infections in malaria-naive volunteers, suitable for assessing antimalarial and vaccine efficacy trials.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Sócrates Herrera, Malaria Vaccine and Drug Development Center, Carrera 37 - 2Bis No. 5E - 08, Cali, Colombia. E-mail: sherrera@inmuno.org

Financial support: This work was supported by World Health Organization Initiative for Vaccine Research (grant no. LA35735G), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID grant no. 49486/TMRC), Colombian National Research Council, COLCIENCIAS and the Ministry for Social Protection (contract nos. 253-2005 and 207-2007), and the Malaria Vaccine and Drug Development Center Foundation.

Disclosure: Thomas L. Richie and Judith E. Epstein are service members in the U.S. Navy. This work was prepared as part of their official duties. Title 17 U.S.C. §105 provides that “Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government.” Title 17 U.S.C. §101 defines a U.S. Government work as a work prepared by a military member or employee of the U.S. Government as part of that person's official duties. The contribution of U.S. Navy staff was supported by Work Unit Number 6000.RAD1.F.A309.

Authors' addresses: Sócrates Herrera, Yezid Solarte, Alejandro Jordán-Villegas, Juan Fernando Echavarría, Leonardo Rocha, and Myriam Arévalo-Herrera, Instituto de Inmunología, Edificio de Microbiología, Facultad de Salud, Universidad del Valle and Centro Internacional de Vacunas, Cali, Colombia, E-mails: sherrera@inmuno.org, ysolarte@inmuno.org, alejovi@hotmail.com, jechavarria@inmuno.org, lrocha94@yahoo.com, and marevalo@inmuno.org. Ricardo Palacios, Division of Infectious Diseases, Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil, E-mail: ricardopalacios@gmx.net. Óscar Ramírez and Juan D. Vélez, Fundación Clínica Valle del Lili, Cali, Colombia, E-mails: oramirez@fcvl.org and jdvelez@telesat.com.co. Judith E. Epstein and Thomas L. Richie, Malaria Program, Naval Medical Research Center, Silver Spring, MD, E-mails: Judith.Epstein@med.navy.mil and Thomas.Richie@med.navy.mil.

Reprint requests: Sócrates Herrera, Malaria Vaccine and Drug Development Center, Carrera 37 - 2Bis No. 5E - 08, Cali, Colombia, E-mail: sherrera@inmuno.org.

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