DNA Vaccines pp 239-251 | Cite as

Immunological Responses of Neonates and Infants to DNA Vaccines

  • Martha Sedegah
  • Stephen L. Hoffman
Part of the Methods in Molecular Medicine™ book series (MIMM, volume 127)


In some parts of sub-Saharan Africa, it is believed that most of the deaths attributed to malaria occur in infants. For this and other logistical reasons, if a malaria vaccine is developed and licensed, it will have to be administered to neonates or young infants, when they have maternally acquired antibodies against malaria parasite proteins. Pre-erythrocytic malaria vaccines in development rely on CD8+ T cells as immune effectors, yet some studies indicate that neonates do not mount optimal CD8+ T-cell responses. We report that BALB/c mice first immunized as neonates (7 d) with a Plasmodium yoelii circumsporozoite protein (PyCSP) DNA vaccine mixed with a plasmid expressing murine granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (DG) and boosted at 28 d with pox virus expressing PyCSP were protected (93%) as well as mice immunized entirely as adults (70%). Like adults, protection was dependent on CD8+ T cells and accompanied by excellent anti-PyCSP interferon-γ and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses. Mice born of immune mothers (previously exposed to P. yoelii parasites or immunized with the same vaccine given to the neonates) were also protected and had excellent T-cell responses. These data support assessment of this immunization strategy in neonates/young infants in areas where malaria exacts the greatest toll.

Key Words

Rodent CD8+ T-cell responses malaria maternal antibodies DNA vaccination 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martha Sedegah
    • 1
  • Stephen L. Hoffman
    • 2
  1. 1.Malaria ProgramNaval Medical Research CenterSilver Spring
  2. 2.Samaria Inc.Rockville

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