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We have previously reported primary endpoints of a clinical trial testing two vaccine platforms for the delivery of Plasmodium vivax malaria DBPRII: viral vectors (ChAd63, MVA), and protein/adjuvant (PvDBPII with 50µg Matrix-M™ adjuvant). Delayed boosting was necessitated due to trial halts during the pandemic and provides an opportunity to investigate the impact of dosing regimens. Here, using flow cytometry - including agnostic definition of B cell populations with the clustering tool CITRUS - we report enhanced induction of DBPRII-specific plasma cell and memory B cell responses in protein/adjuvant versus viral vector vaccinees. Within protein/adjuvant groups, delayed boosting further improved B cell immunogenicity compared to a monthly boosting regimen. Consistent with this, delayed boosting also drove more durable anti-DBPRII serum IgG. In an independent vaccine clinical trial with the P. falciparum malaria RH5.1 protein/adjuvant (50µg Matrix-M™) vaccine candidate, we similarly observed enhanced circulating B cell responses in vaccinees receiving a delayed final booster. Notably, a higher frequency of vaccine-specific (putatively long-lived) plasma cells was detected in the bone marrow of these delayed boosting vaccinees by ELISPOT and correlated strongly with serum IgG. Finally, following controlled human malaria infection with P. vivax parasites in the DBPRII trial, in vivo growth inhibition was observed to correlate with DBPRII-specific B cell and serum IgG responses. In contrast, the CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses were impacted by vaccine platform but not dosing regimen and did not correlate with in vivo growth inhibition in a challenge model. Taken together, our DBPRII and RH5 data suggest an opportunity for protein/adjuvant dosing regimen optimisation in the context of rational vaccine development against pathogens where protection is antibody-mediated.

Original publication




Journal article


Front Immunol

Publication Date





B cells, T cells, antibody, bone marrow, malaria, memory B cells, plasma cells, vaccine dosing regimen, Humans, Plasmodium falciparum, Bone Marrow, Antigens, Protozoan, Vaccines, Adjuvants, Immunologic, Malaria, Vivax, Immunoglobulin G