Gates Foundation grant for mosquito disease research
Professor Paul Young has received a US$100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop an altruistic vaccine for mosquito transmitted pathogens.
The Foundation's Grand Challenges in Global Health grants foster creative projects that show great promise to improve the health of people in the developing world. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive additional funding of $1 million or more.
Unlike traditional vaccines that typically target specific viruses, bacteria or parasites, Professor Young aims to develop a more broadly acting vaccine that targets the mosquito itself. When a mosquito bites an infected individual who has received the vaccine, it will ingest, along with the blood meal, specific antibodies that will attack the mosquito itself. These will affect its ability to feed again and so block transmission of the infectious agent to a new susceptible individual. In this way, the vaccine should prevent transmission by a range of mosquito borne diseases such as dengue and malaria within any vaccinated community.
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