The prospect of qualifying the standard membrane feeding assay (SMFA) had been questioned due to a lack of reproducibility. The SMFA had demonstrated a low sensitivity in addition to the questions about its utility in the middle ranges of transmission-blocking activity . Since 2010, significant progress has been made and the SMFA assay has been qualified for the characteristics of precision, linearity, range, and specificity. The range of the assay was limited
to results of 80% or greater reduction in oocyst density, though modifications could potentially expand this range . Future efforts continue toward full qualification of the assay, which, along LY2835219 with conclusive evidence that it predicts outcomes from more biologically relevant assays (e.g., direct membrane feeding assay [DMFA] and direct feeding assay [DFA]), will inform the role of the assay in the development of an SSM-VIMT. In 2012, MVI facilitated an experiment to assess the reproducibility of the SMFA across laboratories in response to the identified gaps. Using a blinded, this website standardized antibody panel encompassing a range of predetermined inhibitory activities, a number of laboratories performed independent runs of the SMFA using
their own standard operating procedures, and the raw data from each were analyzed by one group. Preliminary results were encouraging, and further work is now being pursued to determine whether the comparison of vaccine candidates being developed and evaluated by independent groups will be possible. To address the identified knowledge gap with respect to the correlation between the SMFA and transmission reduction Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase in the field, MVI coordinated a review to compare results from the DMFA and DFA  in terms of efficiency of parasite infection and to better understand variability within the DMFA. In summary, the group found that the DFA is a more efficient means of infecting mosquitoes than the DMFA, though the mosquito infection rates in the DFA strongly correlated with those in the DMFA. Their work also highlighted some differences
in the feeding assay methodology, which might have contributed to assay variability and identified some gaps in our knowledge of the performance of the assays. As our understanding of the utility of each feeding assay in the different stages of vaccine development matures, the interpretation of assay readouts is also evolving (see Box 1). To progress toward the Roadmap strategic goal of a vaccine that reduces transmission, MVI released a Call for Proposals to improve the existing assays and to address the gaps in the knowledge of how the assays relate to each other. The following priority areas were targeted: quantification of variability in feeding assays; assay improvements or surrogates; and factors intrinsic to the parasite, mosquito vector, or human host that influence transmission.