Project: Gamma delta T cells are important for malaria sporozoite vaccination
Plasmodium parasites which cause malaria are extremely complex pathogens, with a life cycle involving multiple stages within the mosquito vector and the human host. Sterilising immunity that can successfully protect against the liver stage of infection has many benefits, including blocking progression to clinical disease and blocking transmission back to the mosquito vector. Due to the short timeframe of liver infection prior to break out into the blood stage, it is extremely hard to generate sterilising liver stage immunity. We have recently shown that gd T cells are crucial to the generation of immunity to liver stage infection as without this cell population present, CD4 and CD8 T cell responses are severely impaired. We are dissecting the role that gd T cells play in this system using a combination of cellular assays including flow cytometry, histology and live intravital imaging.