Phase 1 trial of malaria transmission blocking vaccine candidates Pfs25 and Pvs 25 formulated with montanide ISA 51

Yimin Wu, Ruth D. Ellis, Donna Shaffer, Erica Fontes, Elissa M. Malkin, Siddhartha Mahanty, Michael P. Fay, David Narum, Kelly Rausch, Aaron P. Miles, Joan Aebig, Andrew Orcutt, Olga Muratova, Guanhong Song, Lynn Lambert, Daming Zhu, Kazutoyo Miura, Carole Long, Allan Saul, Louis H. MillerAnna P. Durbin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

263 Scopus citations


Background: Pfs25 and Pvs25, surface proteins of mosquito stage of the malaria parasites P. falciparum and P. vivax, respectively, are leading candidates for vaccines preventing malaria transmission by mosquitoes. This single blinded, dose escalating, controlled Phase 1 study assessed the safety and immunogenicity of recombinant Pfs25 and Pvs25 formulated with Montanide ISA 51, a water-in-oil emulsion. Methodology/Principal Findings: The trial was conducted at The Johns Hopkins Center for Immunization Research, Washington DC, USA, between May 16, 2005-April 30, 2007. The trial was designed to enroll 72 healthy male and non-pregnant female volunteers into 1 group to receive adjuvant control and 6 groups to receive escalating doses of the vaccines. Due to unexpected reactogenicity, the vaccination was halted and only 36 volunteers were enrolled into 4 groups: 3 groups of 10 volunteers each were immunized with 5 μg of Pfs25/ISA 51, 5 μg of Pvs25/ISA 51, or 20 μg of Pvs25/ISA 51, respectively. A fourth group of 6 volunteers received adjuvant control (PBS/ISA 51). Frequent local reactogenicity was observed. Systemic adverse events included two cases of erythema nodosum considered to be probably related to the combination of the antigen and the adjuvant. Significant antibody responses were detected in volunteers who completed the lowest scheduled doses of Pfs25/ISA 51. Serum anti-Pfs25 levels correlated with transmission blocking activity. Conclusion/Significance: It is feasible to induce transmission blocking immunity in humans using the Pfs25/ISA 51 vaccine, but these vaccines are unexpectedly reactogenic for further development. This is the first report that the formulation is associated with systemic adverse events including erythema nodosum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2636
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 9 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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