Mice Pups Breastfed by Foster Mothers Whose Breast Milk Contains Plasmodium falciparum Recombinant SE36 Antigen Develop Specific Antibodies

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  • 1 Med Biotech Laboratories, Kampala, Uganda;
  • 2 Institute of Primate Research, Nairobi, Kenya

Intranasal instillation of SE36, a malaria vaccine candidate antigen, in lactating BALB/c female mice resulted in the appearance of the antigen in breast milk as demonstrated by sandwich ELISA and Western blot. Pups born of immunologically naive mice and breastfed on lactating foster mothers exposed intranasally to SE36 developed IgG anti-SE36 antibodies. These data demonstrate that maternal immunization in mice by this route in lactating mothers can result in active immunization of offspring via ingestion of breast milk containing antigen. If confirmed in a nonhuman primate model and in human subjects, this strategy might be transformative for vaccination against malaria and other infant killer infectious diseases.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Tonny Jimmy Owalla, Med Biotech Laboratories, Plot 39, Lake Dr., Kampala 9364, Uganda, E-mail: owallatonny@gmail.com

Disclosure: The work was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of the Institute of Primate Research, Nairobi, Kenya.

Financial support: This study was funded by a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenge Explorations grant OPP1006996 to T. G. E.

Authors’ addresses: Margaret M. Njoroge, International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya, E-mail: mnjoroge@icipe.org. Victor Irungu Mwangi and Hastings Ozwara, Institute of Primate Research, Nairobi, Kenya, E-mails: XXX and XXX. Tonny Jimmy Owalla and Thomas G. Egwang, Med Biotech Laboratories, Kampala, Uganda, E-mails: owallatonny@gmail.com and tgegwang@gmail.com.