Genetically attenuated malaria parasites (GAP) that arrest during liver stage development are powerful immunogens and afford complete and durable protection against sporozoite infection. Late liver stage-arresting GAP provide superior protection against sporozoite challenge in mice compared to early live stage-arresting attenuated parasites. However, very few late liver stage-arresting GAP have been generated to date. Therefore, identification of additional loci that are critical for late liver stage development and can be used to generate novel late liver stage-arresting GAPs is of importance. We further explored genetic attenuation in Plasmodium yoelii by combining two gene deletions, PlasMei2 and liver-specific protein 2 (LISP2), that each cause late liver stage arrest with various degrees of infrequent breakthrough to blood stage infection. The dual gene deletion resulted in a synthetic lethal phenotype that caused complete attenuation in a highly susceptible mouse strain. P. yoelii plasmei2- lisp2- arrested late in liver stage development and did not persist in livers beyond 3 days after infection. Immunization with this GAP elicited robust protective antibody responses in outbred and inbred mice against sporozoites, liver stages, and blood stages as well as eliciting protective liver-resident T cells. The immunization afforded protection against both sporozoite challenge and blood stage challenge. These findings provide evidence that completely attenuated late liver stage-arresting GAP are achievable via the synthetic lethal approach and might enable a path forward for the creation of a completely attenuated late liver stage-arresting P. falciparum GAP.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Infection and Immunity|
|State||Published - May 1 2018|
- Liver stage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases