Merozoite surface protein 2 adsorbed onto acetalated dextran microparticles for malaria vaccination

Rebeca T. Stiepel, Cole J. Batty, Christopher A. MacRaild, Raymond S. Norton, Eric Bachelder, Kristy M. Ainslie

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Malaria remains a global health threat, with significant morbidity and mortality worldwide despite current interventions. The human disease is caused by five different parasitic species, with Plasmodium falciparum being the deadliest. As a result, vaccine research against P. falciparum is a global priority. Merozoite surface protein 2 (MSP2) is a promising vaccine antigen as MSP2-specific antibodies have been shown previously to be protective against malaria infection. In this study, the formulation of an MSP2 vaccine was explored to enhance antigen uptake and achieve both an antibody and Th1 immune response by adsorbing MSP2 antigen onto a biomaterial carrier system. Specifically, MSP2 antigen was adsorbed onto acetalated dextran (Ace-DEX) microparticles (MPs). IgG and IgG2a titers elicited by the Ace-DEX MP platform were compared to titer levels elicited by MSP2 adsorbed to an FDA-approved alum adjuvant, MSP2 alone, and PBS alone. Both adsorption of MSP2 to Ace-DEX MPs and to alum elicited antibody responses in vivo, but only the formulation containing Ace-DEX MPs was able to elicit a significant Th1-biased response needed to combat the intracellular pathogen. As such, MSP2 adsorbed to Ace-DEX MPs demonstrates promise as a malaria vaccine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120168
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2021


  • Antibody response
  • Antigen adsorption
  • Cross presentation
  • Electrospray
  • Polymeric particles
  • Th1/Th2 response

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