WP4 Repository of Resources

Lead participant: University of Edinburgh
This WP will focus on establishing common standard reagents and protocols on a global scale, a repository which the malaria vaccine community can utilise as a source of reference, to increase harmonisation of assays would be an invaluable resource. This work package will produce such a resource, initially in a virtual form, but over the lifetime of the project the aim will be to produce physical resources, such as standard, well-characterised parasite clones, antibody preparations, monoclonal antibodies and purified antigens, stored under agreed conditions at several sites, for dissemination on request. Without such a resource, comparisons between laboratories and methods will be difficult. The aim of producing such a resource is that intra- and inter-laboratory comparisons will be more robust. Maintenance and management of this resource will be imperative to ensure that standard reagents remain uniform and of high quality throughout and beyond the timescale of this project.
The key activities include:
  • Development of standard preparations which can be used for the recognition of parasite proteins will be provided as reference to participating labs. This may include fixed parasite infected erythrocytes, or western blot of electrophoresed parasite extracts. It may also include positive and negative antibody controls. As much as possible existing antibody preparations will be used as standards.
  • A standard preparation which can be used in harmonizing the cell dependent parasite inhibition assays will be established using a human monoclonal antibody which has been shown to inhibit parasite in ADCI. The antibody will be aliquoted at NIBSC and stored for distribution to the participating labs. In addition, a panel of field samples as well as vaccine trial samples (if available in sufficient quantities) will be aliquoted, coded and distributed to participating labs by NIBSC. These will be tested during the later stages of assay development and harmonization. Parasite strains as well as human cell lines or blood cells which can be used in harmonizing the cell dependent parasite inhibitions assays will be distributed to participating labs.
  • Standards used in harmonizing T cell assays include an existing staining, acquisition and analysis standard developed by NIBSC which is currently available. In addition, the need to develop PBMC preparations which can be used for optimising stimulation conditions will be evaluated and developed under WP3 if deemed necessary. There seems to be no need to develop antigen standards as peptides derived from common pathogen such as EBV, CMV and Flu are commercially available and should be sufficient for the activities in WP3.