Diego A. Espinosa

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Zika virus (ZIKV), a mosquito-borne flavivirus with homology to Dengue virus (DENV), has become a public health emergency. By characterizing memory lymphocytes from ZIKV-infected patients, we dissected ZIKV-specific and DENV-cross-reactive immune responses. Antibodies to nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) were largely ZIKV-specific and were used to develop a(More)
Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum kills nearly one million children each year and imposes crippling economic burdens on families and nations worldwide. No licensed vaccine exists, but infection can be prevented by antibodies against the circumsporozoite protein (CSP), the major surface protein of sporozoites, the form of the parasite injected by(More)
The Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite (CS) protein (CSP) is a major vaccine target for preventing malaria infection. Thus, developing strong and durable antibody and T cell responses against CSP with novel immunogens and potent adjuvants may improve upon the success of current approaches. Here, we compare four distinct full-length P. falciparum CS(More)
It is well established that immunization with attenuated malaria sporozoites induces CD8(+) T cells that eliminate parasite-infected hepatocytes. Liver memory CD8(+) T cells induced by immunization with parasites undergo a unique differentiation program and have enhanced expression of CXCR6. Following immunization with malaria parasites, CXCR6-deficient(More)
The development of vaccine candidates against Plasmodium vivax-the most geographically widespread human malaria species-is challenged by technical difficulties, such as the lack of in vitro culture systems and availability of animal models. Chimeric rodent Plasmodium parasites are safe and useful tools for the preclinical evaluation of new vaccine(More)
Recent studies have shown that immune responses against the cell-traversal protein for Plasmodium ookinetes and sporozoites (CelTOS) can inhibit parasite infection. While these studies provide important evidence toward the development of vaccines targeting this protein, it remains unknown whether these responses could engage the Plasmodium falciparum CelTOS(More)
Although sterilizing immunity to malaria can be elicited by irradiated sporozoite vaccination, no clinically practical subunit vaccine has been shown to be capable of preventing the approximately 600,000 annual deaths attributed to this infection. DNA vaccines offer several potential advantages for a disease that primarily affects the developing world, but(More)
In order to design P. falciparum preerythrocytic vaccine candidates, a library of circumsporozoite (CS) T and B cell epitopes displayed on the woodchuck hepatitis virus core antigen (WHcAg) VLP platform was produced. To test the protective efficacy of the WHcAg-CS VLPs, hybrid CS P. berghei/P. falciparum (Pb/Pf) sporozoites were used to challenge immunized(More)
The circumsporozoite protein (CSP) of Plasmodium falciparum is a major surface protein, which forms a dense coat on the sporozoite's surface. Preclinical research on CSP and clinical evaluation of a CSP fragment-based RTS, S/AS01 vaccine have demonstrated a modest degree of protection against P. falciparum, mediated in part by humoral immunity and in part(More)
Malaria infection begins when a female Anopheles mosquito injects Plasmodium sporozoites into the skin of its host during blood feeding. Skin-deposited sporozoites may enter the bloodstream and infect the liver, reside and develop in the skin, or migrate to the draining lymph nodes (DLNs). Importantly, the DLN is where protective CD8(+) T cell responses(More)