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Microcrystalline Tyrosine (MCT®) is a widely used proprietary depot excipient in specific immunotherapy for allergy. In the current study we assessed the potential of MCT to serve as an adjuvant in the development of a vaccine against malaria. To this end, we formulated the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) of P. vivax in MCT and compared the induced immune responses to CSP formulated in PBS or Alum. Both MCT and Alum strongly increased immunogenicity of CSP compared to PBS in both C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice. Challenge studies in mice using a chimeric P. bergei expressing CSP of P. vivax demonstrated clinically improved symptoms of malaria with CSP formulated in both MCT and Alum; protection was, however, more pronounced if CSP was formulated in MCT. Hence, MCT may be an attractive biodegradable adjuvant useful for the development of novel prophylactic vaccines.

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Nuffield Department of Medicine, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Physiology (CCMP), The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7BN, UK.