[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A recent clinical trial in African children demonstrated the potential utility of merozoite surface protein (MSP)-3 as a vaccine against malaria. The present study evaluated the use of MSP-3 (PvMSP-3) as a target antigen in vaccine formulations against malaria caused by . Recombinant proteins representing MSP-3α and MSP-3β of were expressed as soluble histidine-tagged bacterial fusions. Antigenicity during natural infection was evaluated by detecting specific antibodies using sera from individuals living in endemic areas of Brazil. A large proportion of infected individuals presented IgG antibodies to PvMSP-3α (68.2%) and at least 1 recombinant protein representing PvMSP-3β (79.1%). In spite of the large responder frequency, reactivity to both antigens was significantly lower than was observed for the immunodominant epitope present on the 19-kDa C-terminal region of PvMSP-1. Immunogenicity of the recombinant proteins was studied in mice in the absence or presence of different adjuvant formulations. PvMSP-3β, but not PvMSP-3α, induced a TLR4-independent humoral immune response in the absence of any adjuvant formulation. The immunogenicity of the recombinant antigens were also tested in formulations containing different adjuvants (Alum, flagellin, CpG, Quil A,TiterMax® and incomplete Freunds adjuvant) and combinations of two adjuvants (Alum plus flagellin, and CpG plus flagellin). Recombinant PvMSP-3α and PvMSP-3β elicited higher antibody titers capable of recognizing infected erythrocytes harvested from malaria patients. Our results confirm that MSP-3 antigens are immunogenic during natural infection, and the corresponding recombinant proteins may be useful in elucidating their vaccine potential.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(2):e56061. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transition from enucleated reticulocytes to mature normocytes is marked by substantial remodeling of the erythrocytic cytoplasm and membrane. Despite conspicuous changes, most studies describe the maturing reticulocyte as a homogenous erythropoietic cell type. While reticulocyte staging based on fluorescent RNA stains such as thiazole orange have been useful in a clinical setting; these 'sub-vital' stains may confound delicate studies on reticulocyte biology and may preclude their use in heamoparasite invasion studies.
Here we use highly purified populations of reticulocytes isolated from cord blood, sorted by flow cytometry into four sequential subpopulations based on transferrin receptor (CD71) expression: CD71high, CD71medium, CD71low and CD71negative. Each of these subgroups was phenotyped in terms of their, morphology, membrane antigens, biomechanical properties and metabolomic profile.
Superficially CD71high and CD71medium reticulocytes share a similar gross morphology (large and multilobular) when compared to the smaller, smooth and increasingly concave reticulocytes as seen in the in the CD71low and CD71negativesamples. However, between each of the four sample sets we observe significant decreases in shear modulus, cytoadhesive capacity, erythroid receptor expression (CD44, CD55, CD147, CD235R, and CD242) and metabolite concentrations. Interestingly increasing amounts of boric acid was found in the mature reticulocytes.
Reticulocyte maturation is a dynamic and continuous process, confounding efforts to rigidly classify them. Certainly this study does not offer an alternative classification strategy; instead we used a nondestructive sampling method to examine key phenotypic changes of in reticulocytes. Our study emphasizes a need to focus greater attention on reticulocyte biology.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(10):e76062. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is generally accepted that Plasmodium vivax, the most widely distributed human malaria parasite, causes mild disease and that this species does not sequester in the deep capillaries of internal organs. Recent evidence, however, has demonstrated that there is severe disease, sometimes resulting in death, exclusively associated with P. vivax and that P. vivax-infected reticulocytes are able to cytoadhere in vitro to different endothelial cells and placental cryosections. Here, we review the scarce and preliminary data on cytoadherence in P. vivax, reinforcing the importance of this phenomenon in this species and highlighting the avenues that it opens for our understanding of the pathology of this neglected human malaria parasite.
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 08/2011; 106 Suppl 1:79-84. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gestational malaria is a multi-factorial syndrome leading to poor outcomes for both the mother and foetus. Although an unusual increasing in the number of hospitalizations caused by Plasmodium vivax has been reported in Brazil, mortality is rarely observed. This is a report of a gestational malaria case that occurred in the city of Manaus (Amazonas State, Brazil) and resulted in foetal loss. The patient presented placental mixed-infection by Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum after diagnosis by nested-PCR, however microscopic analysis failed to detect P. falciparum in the peripheral blood. Furthermore, as the patient did not receive proper treatment for P. falciparum and hospitalization occurred soon after drug treatment, it seems that P. falciparum pathology was modulated by the concurrent presence of P. vivax. Collectively, this case confirms the tropism towards the placenta by both of these species of parasites, reinforces the notion that co-existence of distinct malaria parasites interferes on diseases' outcomes, and opens discussions regarding diagnostic methods, malaria treatment during pregnancy and prenatal care for women living in unstable transmission areas of malaria, such as the Brazilian Amazon.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Apical Membrane Antigen 1 (AMA-1) is considered a promising candidate for development of a malaria vaccine against asexual stages of Plasmodium. We recently identified domain II (DII) of Plasmodium vivax AMA-1 (PvAMA-1) as a highly immunogenic region recognised by IgG antibodies present in many individuals during patent infection with P. vivax. The present study was designed to evaluate the immunogenic properties of a bacterial recombinant protein containing PvAMA-1 DII. To accomplish this, the recombinant protein was administered to mice in the presence of each of the following six adjuvants: Complete/Incomplete Freund's Adjuvant (CFA/IFA), aluminium hydroxide (Alum), Quil A, QS21 saponin, CpG-ODN 1826 and TiterMax. We found that recombinant DII was highly immunogenic in BALB/c mice when administered in the presence of any of the tested adjuvants. Importantly, we show that DII-specific antibodies recognised the native AMA-1 protein expressed on the surface of P. vivax merozoites isolated from the blood of infected patients. These results demonstrate that a recombinant protein containing PvAMA-1 DII is immunogenic when administered in different adjuvant formulations, and indicate that this region of the AMA-1 protein should continue to be evaluated as part of a subunit vaccine against vivax malaria.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax are responsible for most of the global burden of malaria. Although the accentuated pathogenicity of P. falciparum occurs because of sequestration of the mature erythrocytic forms in the microvasculature, this phenomenon has not yet been noted in P. vivax. The increasing number of severe manifestations of P. vivax infections, similar to those observed for severe falciparum malaria, suggests that key pathogenic mechanisms (eg, cytoadherence) might be shared by the 2 parasites.
Mature P. vivax-infected erythrocytes (Pv-iEs) were isolated from blood samples collected from 34 infected patients. Pv-iEs enriched on Percoll gradients were used in cytoadhesion assays with human lung endothelial cells, Saimiri brain endothelial cells, and placental cryosections.
Pv-iEs were able to cytoadhere under static and flow conditions to cells expressing endothelial receptors known to mediate the cytoadhesion of P. falciparum. Although Pv-iE cytoadhesion levels were 10-fold lower than those observed for P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes, the strength of the interaction was similar. Cytoadhesion of Pv-iEs was in part mediated by VIR proteins, encoded by P. vivax variant genes (vir), given that specific antisera inhibited the Pv-iE-endothelial cell interaction.
These observations prompt a modification of the current paradigms of the pathogenesis of malaria and clear the way to investigate the pathophysiology of P. vivax infections.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 08/2010; 202(4):638-47. · 5.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a recent study, we demonstrated the immunogenic properties of a new malaria vaccine polypeptide based on a 19 kDa C-terminal fragment of the merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP1(19)) from Plasmodium vivax and an innate immunity agonist, the Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium flagellin (FliC). Herein, we tested whether the same strategy, based on the MSP1(19) component of the deadly malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, could also generate a fusion polypeptide with enhanced immunogenicity. The His(6)FliC-MSP1(19) fusion protein was expressed from a recombinant Escherichia coli and showed preserved in vitro TLR5-binding activity. In contrast to animals injected with His(6)MSP1(19), mice subcutaneously immunised with the recombinant His(6)FliC-MSP1(19) developed strong MSP1(19)-specific systemic antibody responses with a prevailing IgG1 subclass. Incorporation of other adjuvants, such as CpG ODN 1826, complete and incomplete Freund's adjuvants or Quil-A, improved the IgG responses after the second, but not the third, immunising dose. It also resulted in a more balanced IgG subclass response, as evaluated by the IgG1/IgG2c ratio, and higher cell-mediated immune response, as determined by the detection of antigen-specific interferon-gamma secretion by immune spleen cells. MSP1(19)-specific antibodies recognised not only the recombinant protein, but also the native protein expressed on the surface of P. falciparum parasites. Finally, sera from rabbits immunised with the fusion protein alone inhibited the in vitro growth of three different P. falciparum strains. In summary, these results extend our previous observations and further demonstrate that fusion of the innate immunity agonist FliC to Plasmodium antigens is a promising alternative to improve their immunogenicity.