The mosquito is the most deadly animal on earth. It vectors a plasmodium, a eukaryotic parasite that invades the liver of the host and ultimately attacks red blood cells. There are some therapies and preventatives, but a durable vaccine would be a game changer in the Developing World. Dr. Stefan Kappe and his team have developed a vaccine based on the weakened plasmodium parasite. They used CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to disrupt genes required for life cycle progression, so the vaccinated can receive a vaccination and invoke a strong immunological response against the actual pathogen if encountered. Clinical trials have demonstrated safety and efficacy, and paved the way for even more effective approaches that may be significant public health advances throughout the Developing World. Link to Dr. Kappe's Laboratory Link to the accompanying paper here.
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