Plasmodium vivax in Brazil: pathogenesis and vaccine development


Life-threatening Plasmodium vivax malaria cases, while uncommon, have been reported since the early 20th century. Unfortunately, the pathogenesis of these severe vivax malaria cases is still poorly understood. In Brazil, the proportion of vivax malaria cases has been steadily increasing, as have the number of cases presenting serious clinical complications. The most frequent syndromes associated with severe vivax malaria in Brazil are severe anaemia and acute respiratory distress. Additionally, P. vivax infection may also result in complications associated with pregnancy. Here, we review the latest findings on severe vivax malaria in Brazil and potential candidates for vaccine development. We also discuss how the development of targeted field research infrastructure in Brazil is providing clinical and ex-vivo experimental data that benefits local and international efforts to understand the pathogenesis of P. vivax.

Short Bio

Dr. Costa has earned his doctorate in 2001 by the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology, from Federal University of São Paulo and the Institut Cochin Génétique Moléculaire, Paris, France. Immediately after his PhD, he began his post-doctorate at Université de la Méditerranée / Institut Pasteur. Dr. Costa published, during his PhD and post-doctorate, important manuscripts aimed to understand the host immune response to malaria infections in mice, and also regarding the development of experimental vaccines against malaria in pregnancy using non-human primate models. In 2004, at age 32, Dr. Costa joined University of Campinas (UNICAMP) as a Professor, and became Associate Professor in 2011. Recently, Dr. Costa has worked actively, and in close cooperation, with Fundação de Medicina Tropical de Manaus (Manaus, AM, Brazil) in the Amazon to understand the immunopathogenesis of P. vivax infected-patients. Dr. Costa has published over 40 papers in high quality journals including; Science, Blood, JID, J. Immunol. Infect. Immun. AAC, PloSOne, etc. Also, he works as academic editor for PloSOne and Frontiers in Immunology. Finally, during 2010-2012, Dr. Costa participated actively in UNICAMP internationalization process as advisor for international relations.