Hookworm Vaccines

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Hookworm infection caused by the soil-transmitted nematodes Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale is one of the most common parasitic infections worldwide. Although not directly responsible for substantial mortality, it causes significant morbidity in the form of chronic anemia and protein malnutrition. Current global control efforts based on periodic mass anthelmintic administration are unsustainable, and new control strategies must be developed. This review describes progress in the development of vaccines against hookworm infection, including the preclinical and initial clinical testing of the N. americanus Ancylostoma Secreted Protein-2 Hookworm Vaccine. Plans call for eventual development of a vaccine that will combine at least 2 hookworm antigens—one targeting the larval stage of the life cycle and another targeting the adult worm living in the gastrointestinal tract.

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