Monoclonal antibodies for malaria prevention

Maya Aleshnick, Melina Florez-Cuadros, Thomas Martinson, Brandon K. Wilder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Monoclonal antibodies are highly specific proteins that are cloned from a single B cell and bind to a single epitope on a pathogen. These laboratory-made molecules can serve as prophylactics or therapeutics for infectious diseases and have an impressive capacity to modulate the progression of disease, as demonstrated for the first time on a large scale during the COVID-19 pandemic. The high specificity and natural starting point of monoclonal antibodies afford an encouraging safety profile, yet the high cost of production remains a major limitation to their widespread use. While a monoclonal antibody approach to abrogating malaria infection is not yet available, the unique life cycle of the malaria parasite affords many opportunities for such proteins to act, and preliminary research into the efficacy of monoclonal antibodies in preventing malaria infection, disease, and transmission is encouraging. This review examines the current status and future outlook for monoclonal antibodies against malaria in the context of the complex life cycle and varied antigenic targets expressed in the human and mosquito hosts, and provides insight into the strengths and limitations of this approach to curtailing one of humanity's oldest and deadliest diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1810-1821
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Therapy
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

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