Working to enhance vaccine evaluation tools
MVI is working to enhance the quality of laboratory tools, including functional immunoassays, to properly evaluate the potential of new vaccine candidates.
Our activities include:
- Supporting the ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) Reference Center at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR). The ELISA Reference Center provides the global malaria vaccine community with standardized and highly reproducible analyses of vaccine-induced antibody levels, comparative assessments of vaccine candidates, and assay development.
- Support of the Growth Inhibition Assay (GIA) Reference Center at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health. This center offers standardized testing of serum samples to determine if antibodies are able to block the invasion of merozoites into red blood cells. The NIAID group also shares standardized assay protocols and offers training in performing the assay.
- Establishment of the Membrane Feeding Assay (MFA) Evaluation Center at NIAID. The MFA is a functional assay that measures the ability of antibodies to block transmission of parasites to mosquitoes. It is therefore viewed as a critical tool to support the development of vaccines designed to interrupt malaria transmission and support future elimination campaigns. Efforts to qualify the assay are underway.
- We also support harmonization of immunoassays through efforts such as the European Union funded Optimalvac project, which is lead by the European Vaccine Initiative (EVI).