Through advances in genomics, proteomics and transcriptomics, currently studies analyzing these tools in search of new targets for potential drugs and vaccines are increasingly present in academia. Important targets to be sought are proteins involved in the life cycle of the protozoan Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, for potential vaccine formulations, such as for the vaccine strategy to inhibit the transmission of the disease. Recently, our research group identified the PBANKA_1038800 gene from P. berghei, conserved in different species of Plasmodium, as essential for the fertilization of the protozoan during its sexual reproduction phase. This project aims to further studies on this gene and the protein it encodes, locating it in the protozoan and producing it recombinantly for antibody production, with the purpose of studying whether these antibodies would be able to inhibit the protozoan fertilization, thus characterizing the protein as a potential candidate for the development of a transmission-blocking vaccine.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: