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Infectious disease


Interferon a/b receptor 1 (IFNAR1)

Mouse studies suggest stimulating a type I interferon response could help improve efficacy of malaria vaccination or treatment. In mice, infection with Plasmodium berghei stimulated transcription of genes in the liver associated with the type I interferon response. In the P. berghei-infected mice, hepatocyte-specific knockout of Ifnar1 increased parasitic liver load compared with no knockout and accelerated transition to blood-stage infection. In mice, stimulation of the type I interferon response with HCV RNA prior to P. berghei infection decreased parasite load compared with no stimulation. Next steps include determining the effect of type I interferon on long-term protection after malaria vaccination.

SciBX 7(4); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.118
Published online Jan. 30, 2014

Findings unpatented; unavailable for licensing

Liehl, P. et al. Nat. Med.; published online Dec. 22, 2013;
Contact: Maria M. Mota, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal