[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malaria-specific antibody responses are short lived in children, leaving them susceptible to repeated bouts of febrile malaria. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this apparent immune deficiency are poorly understood. Recently, T follicular helper (Tfh) cells have been shown to play a critical role in generating long-lived antibody responses. We show that Malian children have resting PD-1+CXCR5+CD4+ Tfh cells in circulation that resemble germinal center Tfh cells phenotypically and functionally. Within this population, PD-1+CXCR5+CXCR3− Tfh cells are superior to Th1-polarized PD-1+CXCR5+CXCR3+ Tfh cells in helping B cells. Longitudinally, we observed that malaria drives Th1 cytokine responses, and accordingly, the less-functional Th1-polarized Tfh subset was preferentially activated and its activation did not correlate with antibody responses. These data provide insights into the Tfh cell biology underlying suboptimal antibody responses to malaria in children and suggest that vaccine strategies that promote CXCR3− Tfh cell responses may improve malaria vaccine efficacy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malaria elimination efforts would benefit from vaccines that block transmission of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes from humans to mosquitoes. A clear understanding of gametocyte-specific antibody responses in exposed populations could help determine if transmission-blocking vaccines (TBV) would be boosted by natural gametocyte exposure, and also inform the development of serologic tools to monitor gametocyte exposure in populations targeted for malaria elimination. To this end, plasma was collected from Malian children and adults before and after the 6-month malaria season and probed against a microarray containing 1,204 P. falciparum proteins. Using publicly available proteomic data we classified 91 proteins as gametocyte-specific and 69 proteins not expressed by gametocytes. The overall breadth and magnitude of gametocyte-specific IgG responses increased during the malaria season, although they were consistently lower than IgG responses to non-gametocyte antigens. Notably, IgG specific for the TBV candidates Pfs48/45 and Pfs230 increased during the malaria season. Additionally, IgG specific for the gametocyte proteins Pfmdv1, Pfs16, PF3D7_1346400 and PF3D7_1024800 were detected in nearly all subjects, suggesting that seroconversion to these proteins may be a sensitive indicator of gametocyte exposure, although further studies are needed to determine the specificity and kinetics of these potential serologic markers. These findings suggest that TBV-induced immunity would be boosted through natural gametocyte exposure, and that antibody responses to particular antigens may reliably indicate gametocyte exposure.
Infection and Immunity 08/2015; 83(11). DOI:10.1128/IAI.00644-15 · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protective antibodies in Plasmodium falciparum malaria are only acquired after years of repeated infections. Chronic malaria exposure is associated with a large increase in atypical memory B cells (MBCs) that resemble B cells expanded in a variety of persistent viral infections. Understanding the function of atypical MBCs and their relationship to classical MBCs will be critical to developing effective vaccines for malaria and other chronic infections. We show that VH gene repertoires and somatic hypermutation rates of atypical and classical MBCs are indistinguishable indicating a common developmental history. Atypical MBCs express an array of inhibitory receptors and B cell receptor (BCR) signaling is stunted in atypical MBCs resulting in impaired B cell responses including proliferation, cytokine production and antibody secretion. Thus, in response to chronic malaria exposure, atypical MBCs appear to differentiate from classical MBCs becoming refractory to BCR-mediated activation and potentially interfering with the acquisition of malaria immunity. - See more at: http://elifesciences.org/content/early/2015/05/07/eLife.07218#sthash.gmrzqfdF.dpuf
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vaccine-induced immunity depends on long-lived plasma cells (LLPCs) that maintain antibody levels. A recent mouse study showed that Plasmodium chaubaudi infection reduced pre-existing influenza-specific antibodies--raising concerns that malaria may compromise pre-existing vaccine responses. We extended these findings to P. yoelii infection, observing decreases in antibodies to model antigens in inbred mice and to influenza in outbred mice, associated with LLPC depletion and increased susceptibility to influenza rechallenge. We investigated the implications of these findings in Malian children by measuring vaccine-specific IgG (tetanus, measles, hepatitis B) before and after the malaria-free 6-month dry season, 10 days after the first malaria episode of the malaria season, and after the subsequent dry season. On average, vaccine-specific IgG did not decrease following acute malaria. However, in some children malaria was associated with an accelerated decline in vaccine-specific IgG, underscoring the need to further investigate the impact of malaria on pre-existing vaccine-specific antibodies.
PLoS ONE 04/2015; 10(4):e0125090. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0125090 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Immunity to the antigenically diverse parasite Plasmodium falciparum is acquired gradually after repeated exposure. Studies in areas of high malaria transmission have shown that asymptomatic individuals infected with multiclonal infections are at reduced risk of febrile malaria during follow-up.
We assessed the relationship between the genetic diversity of clones in P. falciparum infections that persist through the dry season and the subsequent risk of febrile malaria in 225 individuals aged 2-25 years in Mali, where the 6-month malaria and dry seasons are sharply demarcated. Polymerase chain reaction-based genotyping of the highly polymorphic merozoite surface protein 2 gene was performed on blood samples collected at 5 cross-sectional surveys.
In an age-adjusted analysis, individuals with multiclonal P. falciparum infections before the rainy season were at reduced risk of febrile malaria, compared with individuals who were uninfected (hazard ratio [HR], 0.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], .11-.69). In contrast, there was no significant association between risk of malaria and having 1 clone at baseline (HR, 0.71; 95% CI, .36-1.40).
The results suggest that persistent multiclonal infections carried through the dry season contribute to protection against subsequent febrile malaria, possibly by maintaining protective immune responses that depend on ongoing parasite infection.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 02/2015; 212(4). DOI:10.1093/infdis/jiv088 · 6.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Understanding the host response to natural malaria infection can aid in the rational design of a highly effective vaccine. Antibody-mediated immunity that confers non-sterile protection from febrile malaria is acquired gradually through repeated P. falciparum blood-stage infections. However, the nature of cellular immune responses at the onset of clinically apparent versus clinically silent blood-stage infections in children remains to be elucidated.
Methods: In a prospective study in Mali, we collected whole-blood RNA, PBMCs and plasma from healthy, uninfected children aged 6-11 years (n=78) before the 6-month malaria season and from the same children during their first P. falciparum infection of the ensuing season. First infections were detected retrospectively through bi-weekly active surveillance by PCR. We used RNA-seq to compare whole-blood transcriptomes of children whose clinically silent infections never progressed to fever (immune, n=20), children whose infections progressed to fever within 2-14 days (late fever, n=32) and children who were febrile at the time of infection (early fever, n=26).
Results: Baseline transcription profiles before the malaria season distinguished children whose future P. falciparum infections either progressed to fever or not. Transcription profiles induced by the first-detected P. falciparum infection of the season revealed upregulation of innate, pro-inflammatory responses in immune children but not in late fever children, despite both groups having similar levels of parasitemia and the clinical absence of fever initially. In addition, this early upregulation of innate, pro-inflammatory responses was associated with slower subsequent parasite growth rates in vivo. In ongoing work, we are correlating transcription profiles with P. falciparum-specific antibody profiles before, during and after the first infection using P. falciparum protein microarrays.
Conclusion: Molecular and cellular signatures that predict protection from clinical malaria and biologically relevant outcomes are yielding novel insights into the mechanisms underlying naturally acquired immunity to malaria. The resulting datasets may inform the development of interventions that prevent or mitigate malaria disease.
IDWeek 2014 Meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America; 10/2014
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As public health efforts seek to eradicate malaria, there has been an emphasis on eliminating low-density parasite reservoirs in asymptomatic carriers. As such, diagnosing submicroscopic Plasmodium infections using PCR-based techniques has become important not only in clinical trials of malaria vaccines and therapeutics, but also in active malaria surveillance campaigns. However, PCR-based quantitative assays that rely on nucleic acid extracted from dried blood spots (DBS) have demonstrated lower sensitivity than assays that use cryopreserved whole blood as source material.
The density of Plasmodium falciparum asexual parasites was quantified using genomic DNA extracted from dried blood spots (DBS) and the sensitivity of two approaches was compared: quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) targeting the P. falciparum 18S ribosomal RNA gene, either with an initial conventional PCR amplification prior to qPCR (nested qPCR), or without an initial amplification (qPCR only). Parasite densities determined by nested qPCR, qPCR only, and light microscopy were compared.
Nested qPCR results in 10-fold higher sensitivity (0.5 parasites/μl) when compared to qPCR only (five parasites/ul). Among microscopy-positive samples, parasite densities calculated by nested qPCR correlated strongly with microscopy for both asymptomatic (Pearson’s r = 0.58, P < 0.001) and symptomatic (Pearson’s r = 0.70, P < 0.0001) P. falciparum infections.
Nested qPCR improves the sensitivity for the detection of P. falciparum blood-stage infection from clinical DBS samples. This approach may be useful for active malaria surveillance in areas where submicroscopic asymptomatic infections are prevalent.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Malaria and schistosomiasis often overlap in tropical and subtropical countries and impose tremendous disease burdens; however, the extent to which schistosomiasis modifies the risk of febrile malaria remains unclear.
We evaluated the effect of baseline S. haematobium mono-infection, baseline P. falciparum mono-infection, and co-infection with both parasites on the risk of febrile malaria in a prospective cohort study of 616 children and adults living in Kalifabougou, Mali. Individuals with S. haematobium were treated with praziquantel within 6 weeks of enrollment. Malaria episodes were detected by weekly physical examination and self-referral for 7 months. The primary outcome was time to first or only malaria episode defined as fever (≥37.5°C) and parasitemia (≥2500 asexual parasites/µl). Secondary definitions of malaria using different parasite densities were also explored.
After adjusting for age, anemia status, sickle cell trait, distance from home to river, residence within a cluster of high S. haematobium transmission, and housing type, baseline P. falciparum mono-infection (n = 254) and co-infection (n = 39) were significantly associated with protection from febrile malaria by Cox regression (hazard ratios 0.71 and 0.44; P = 0.01 and 0.02; reference group: uninfected at baseline). Baseline S. haematobium mono-infection (n = 23) did not associate with malaria protection in the adjusted analysis, but this may be due to lack of statistical power. Anemia significantly interacted with co-infection (P = 0.009), and the malaria-protective effect of co-infection was strongest in non-anemic individuals. Co-infection was an independent negative predictor of lower parasite density at the first febrile malaria episode.
Co-infection with S. haematobium and P. falciparum is significantly associated with reduced risk of febrile malaria in long-term asymptomatic carriers of P. falciparum. Future studies are needed to determine whether co-infection induces immunomodulatory mechanisms that protect against febrile malaria or whether genetic, behavioral, or environmental factors not accounted for here explain these findings.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In malaria-naïve individuals, Plasmodium falciparum infection results in high levels of parasite-infected red blood cells (iRBCs) that trigger systemic inflammation and fever. Conversely, individuals in endemic areas who are repeatedly infected are often asymptomatic and have low levels of iRBCs, even young children. We hypothesized that febrile malaria alters the immune system such that P. falciparum re-exposure results in reduced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines/chemokines and enhanced anti-parasite effector responses compared to responses induced before malaria. To test this hypothesis we used a systems biology approach to analyze PBMCs sampled from healthy children before the six-month malaria season and the same children seven days after treatment of their first febrile malaria episode of the ensuing season. PBMCs were stimulated with iRBC in vitro and various immune parameters were measured. Before the malaria season, children's immune cells responded to iRBCs by producing pro-inflammatory mediators such as IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8. Following malaria there was a marked shift in the response to iRBCs with the same children's immune cells producing lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and higher levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10, TGF-β). In addition, molecules involved in phagocytosis and activation of adaptive immunity were upregulated after malaria as compared to before. This shift was accompanied by an increase in P. falciparum-specific CD4+Foxp3- T cells that co-produce IL-10, IFN-γ and TNF; however, after the subsequent six-month dry season, a period of markedly reduced malaria transmission, P. falciparum-inducible IL-10 production remained partially upregulated only in children with persistent asymptomatic infections. These findings suggest that in the face of P. falciparum re-exposure, children acquire exposure-dependent P. falciparum-specific immunoregulatory responses that dampen pathogenic inflammation while enhancing anti-parasite effector mechanisms. These data provide mechanistic insight into the observation that P. falciparum-infected children in endemic areas are often afebrile and tend to control parasite replication.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Plasmodium falciparum reticulocyte-binding protein homologue 5 (PfRH5) is a blood-stage parasite protein essential for host erythrocyte invasion. PfRH5-specific antibodies raised in animals inhibit parasite growth in vitro, but the relevance of naturally acquired PfRH5-specific antibodies in humans is unclear.Methods. We assessed pre-malaria season PfRH5-specific IgG levels in 357 Malian children and adults who were uninfected with Plasmodium. Subsequent P. falciparum infections were detected by PCR every 2 weeks and malaria episodes by weekly physical examination and self-referral for 7 months. The primary outcome was time between the first P. falciparum infection and the first febrile malaria episode. PfRH5-specific IgG was assayed for parasite growth-inhibitory activity.Results. The presence of PfRH5-specific IgG at enrollment was associated with a longer time between the first blood-stage infection and the first malaria episode (PfRH5-seropositive median: 71 days, PfRH5-seronegative median: 18 days; P = .001). This association remained significant after adjustment for age and other factors associated with malaria risk/exposure (HR, .62; P = .02). Concentrated PfRH5-specific IgG purified from Malians inhibited P. falciparum growth in vitro.Conclusions. Naturally acquired PfRH5-specific IgG inhibits parasite growth in vitro and predicts protection from malaria. These findings strongly support efforts to develop PfRH5 as an urgently needed blood-stage malaria vaccine.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 10/2013; 209(5). DOI:10.1093/infdis/jit553 · 6.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
In experimental models of human and mouse malaria, sterilizing liver stage immunity that blocks progression of Plasmodium infection to the symptomatic blood stage can be readily demonstrated. However, it remains unclear whether individuals in malaria-endemic areas acquire such immunity.
In Mali, 251 healthy children and adults aged 4-25 years who were free of blood-stage Plasmodium infection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were enrolled in a longitudinal study just prior to an intense 6-month malaria season. Subsequent clinical malaria episodes were detected by weekly active surveillance and self-referral. Asymptomatic P. falciparum infections were detected by blood-smear microscopy and PCR analysis of dried blood spots that had been collected every 2 weeks for 7 months.
As expected, the risk of clinical malaria decreased with increasing age (log-rank test, P = .0038). However, analysis of PCR data showed no age-related differences in P. falciparum infection risk (log-rank test, P = .37).
Despite years of exposure to intense P. falciparum transmission, there is no evidence of acquired, sterile immunity to P. falciparum infection in this population, even as clinical immunity to blood-stage malaria is clearly acquired. Understanding why repeated P. falciparum infections do not induce sterile protection may lead to insights for developing vaccines that target the liver stage in malaria-endemic populations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heterozygous states of hemoglobin (Hb) A and HbS (HbAS, sickle-cell trait) or HbC (HbAC) protect against Plasmodium falciparum malaria by unclear mechanisms. Several studies suggest that HbAS and HbAC accelerate the acquisition of immunity to malaria, possibly by enhancing P. falciparum-specific antibody responses.
We used a protein microarray representing 491 P. falciparum proteins expressed during exoerythrocytic and erythrocytic stages of the life cycle to test the hypothesis that HbAS and HbAC enhance the P. falciparum-specific IgG response compared with normal HbAA. Plasma samples were collected from Malian children aged 2-10 years before and after a 6-month malaria season and were probed against the microarray. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) profiles of children with HbAA (n = 106), HbAS (n = 15), and HbAC (n = 20) were compared.
Although the magnitude and breadth of P. falciparum-specific IgG responses increased with age and from before to after the malaria season in each antigen category, Hb type did not independently predict significant differences in P. falciparum-specific IgG profiles.
These data do not support the hypothesis that HbAS and HbAC protect against malaria by enhancing P. falciparum-specific antibody responses. It remains possible that HbAS and HbAC protect against malaria by enhancing antibody responses to antigens not studied here or through other immune mechanisms.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 12/2011; 204(11):1750-61. DOI:10.1093/infdis/jir638 · 6.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2003, Mali introduced intermittent preventive therapy in pregnancy (ITPp) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) for the control of malaria in pregnancy, consisting of 2 doses of SP given in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. This widely used regimen, although very effective, leaves many women unprotected from malaria during the last 4-to-8 weeks of gestation, which is a pivotal period for fetal weight gain. The aim of the study was to compare the efficacy and safety of 3-dose versus 2-dose IPTp-SP for the prevention of placental malaria and associated low birth weight (LBW).
We conducted a parallel-group, open-label, individually randomized controlled superiority trial involving 814 women of all gravidity, enrolled from April 2006 through March 2008. All women were seen at least 3 times and received either 2 (n = 401) or 3 (n = 413) doses of IPTp-SP. The primary endpoint measured was placental malaria, LBW, preterm births, and maternal anemia were secondary endpoints, and severe maternal skin reactions and neonatal jaundice were safety endpoints.
Among the 96% of study subjects who were followed up until delivery, the prevalence of placental malaria was 2-fold lower in the 3-dose group (8.0%) than in the 2-dose group (16.7%); the adjusted prevalence ratio (APR) was 0.48 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.32-0.71). LBW and preterm births were also reduced; the prevalence of LBW was 6.6% in the 3-dose group versus 13.3% in the 2-dose group (APR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.32-0.79), and the prevalence of preterm births was 3.2% versus 8.9% (APR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.19-0.71). No significant reductions in maternal anemia or differences in safety endpoints were observed.
Adding a third dose of ITPp-SP halved the risk of placental malaria, LBW, and preterm births in all gravidae, compared with the standard 2-dose regimen, in this area of highly seasonal transmission with low levels of SP resistance. Clinical Trials Registration: ISRCTN 74189211.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antibodies that protect against Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) malaria are only acquired after years of repeated infections. The B cell biology that underlies this observation is poorly understood. We previously reported that "atypical" memory B cells are increased in children and adults exposed to intense Pf transmission in Mali, similar to what has been observed in individuals infected with HIV. In this study we examined B cell subsets of Pf -infected adults in Peru and Mali to determine if Pf transmission intensity correlates with atypical memory B cell expansion.
In this cross-sectional study venous blood was collected from adults in areas of zero (U.S., n = 10), low (Peru, n = 18) and high (Mali, n = 12) Pf transmission. Adults in Peru and Mali were infected with Pf at the time of blood collection. Thawed lymphocytes were analyzed by flow cytometry to quantify B cell subsets, including atypical memory B cells, defined by the cell surface markers CD19(+) CD20(+) CD21(-) CD27(-) CD10(-). In Peru, the mean level of atypical memory B cells, as a percent of total B cells, was higher than U.S. adults (Peru mean: 5.4% [95% CI: 3.61-7.28]; U.S. mean: 1.4% [95% CI: 0.92-1.81]; p<0.0001) but lower than Malian adults (Mali mean 13.1% [95% CI: 10.68-15.57]; p = 0.0001). In Peru, individuals self-reporting ≥1 prior malaria episodes had a higher percentage of atypical memory B cells compared to those reporting no prior episodes (≥1 prior episodes mean: 6.6% [95% CI: 4.09-9.11]; no prior episodes mean: 3.1% [95% CI: 1.52-4.73]; p = 0.028).
Compared to Pf-naive controls, atypical memory B cells were increased in Peruvian adults exposed to low Pf transmission, and further increased in Malian adults exposed to intense Pf transmission. Understanding the origin, function and antigen specificity of atypical memory B cells in the context of Pf infection could contribute to our understanding of naturally-acquired malaria immunity.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(1):e15983. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0015983 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Breast milk contains pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines with potential to influence immunological maturation in the child. We have shown previously that country of birth is associated with the cytokine/chemokine profile of breast milk. In this study we have investigated how these differences in breast milk affect the cellular response of cord blood mononuclear cells (CBMCs) and intestinal epithelial cells (IECs, cell line HT-29) to microbial challenge. Ninety-five women were included: 30 from Mali in West Africa, 32 Swedish immigrants and 33 native Swedish women. CBMCs or IECs were stimulated in vitro with breast milk, alone or in combination with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or peptidoglycan (PGN). Breast milk in general abrogated the LPS-induced down-regulation of surface CD14 and Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 expression on CB monocytes, while inhibiting the PGN-induced TLR-2 up-regulation. However, breast milk from immigrant women together with LPS induced a lower CBMC release of interleukin (IL)-6 (P = 0·034) and CXCL-8/IL-8 (P = 0·037) compared with breast milk from Swedish women, while breast milk from Swedish women and Mali women tended to increase the response. The same pattern of CXCL-8/IL-8 release could be seen after stimulation of IECs (HT-29). The lower CBMC and IEC (HT-29) responses to microbial compounds by breast milk from immigrant women could be explained by the fact that breast milk from the immigrant group showed a divergent pro- and anti-inflammatory content for CXCL-8/IL-8, transforming growth factor-β1 and soluble CD14, compared to the other two groups of women. This may have implications for maturation of their children's immune responses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Author Summary
Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) is a mosquito-borne parasite that causes over 500 million cases of malaria annually, one million of which result in death, primarily among African children. The development of an effective malaria vaccine would be a critical step toward the control and eventual elimination of this disease. To date, most licensed vaccines are for pathogens that induce long-lived protective antibodies after a single infection. In contrast, immunity to malaria is only acquired after repeated infections. Antibodies play a key role in protection from malaria, yet several studies indicate that antibodies against some Pf proteins are generated inefficiently and lost rapidly. The cells that are responsible for the maintenance of antibodies over the human lifespan are memory B-cells and long-lived plasma cells. To determine how these cells are generated and maintained in response to Pf infection, we conducted a year-long study in an area of Mali that experiences a six-month malaria season. We found memory B-cells and long-lived antibodies specific for the parasite were generated in a gradual, step-wise fashion over years despite intense Pf exposure. This contrasts sharply with the efficient response to tetanus vaccination in the same population. This study lends new insights into the delayed acquisition of malaria immunity. Future studies of the cellular and molecular basis of these observations could open the door to strategies for the development of a highly effective malaria vaccine.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abs are central to malaria immunity, which is only acquired after years of exposure to Plasmodium falciparum (Pf). Despite the enormous worldwide burden of malaria, the targets of protective Abs and the basis of their inefficient acquisition are unknown. Addressing these knowledge gaps could accelerate malaria vaccine development. To this end, we developed a protein microarray containing approximately 23% of the Pf 5,400-protein proteome and used this array to probe plasma from 220 individuals between the ages of 2-10 years and 18-25 years in Mali before and after the 6-month malaria season. Episodes of malaria were detected by passive surveillance over the 8-month study period. Ab reactivity to Pf proteins rose dramatically in children during the malaria season; however, most of this response appeared to be short-lived based on cross-sectional analysis before the malaria season, which revealed only modest incremental increases in Ab reactivity with age. Ab reactivities to 49 Pf proteins measured before the malaria season were significantly higher in 8-10-year-old children who were infected with Pf during the malaria season but did not experience malaria (n = 12) vs. those who experienced malaria (n = 29). This analysis also provided insight into patterns of Ab reactivity against Pf proteins based on the life cycle stage at which proteins are expressed, subcellular location, and other proteomic features. This approach, if validated in larger studies and in other epidemiological settings, could prove to be a useful strategy for better understanding fundamental properties of the human immune response to Pf and for identifying previously undescribed vaccine targets.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2010; 107(15):6958-63. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1001323107 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immunity to the asexual blood stage of Plasmodium falciparum is complex and likely involves several effector mechanisms. Antibodies are thought to play a critical role in malaria immunity,
and a corresponding in vitro correlate of antibody-mediated immunity has long been sought to facilitate malaria vaccine development. The growth inhibition
assay (GIA) measures the capacity of antibodies to limit red blood cell (RBC) invasion and/or growth of P. falciparum in vitro. In humans, naturally acquired and vaccine-induced P. falciparum-specific antibodies have growth-inhibitory activity, but it is unclear if growth-inhibitory activity correlates with protection
from clinical disease. In a longitudinal study in Mali, purified IgGs, obtained from plasmas collected before the malaria
season from 220 individuals aged 2 to 10 and 18 to 25 years, were assayed for growth-inhibitory activity. Malaria episodes
were recorded by passive surveillance over the subsequent 6-month malaria season. Logistic regression showed that greater
age (odds ratio [OR], 0.78; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.63 to 0.95; P = 0.02) and growth-inhibitory activity (OR, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.30 to 0.85; P = 0.01) were significantly associated with decreased malaria risk in children. A growth-inhibitory activity level of 40%
was determined to be the optimal cutoff for discriminating malaria-immune and susceptible individuals in this cohort, with
a sensitivity of 97.0%, but a low specificity of 24.3%, which limited the assay's ability to accurately predict protective
immunity and to serve as an in vitro correlate of antibody-mediated immunity. These data suggest that antibodies which block merozoite invasion of RBC and/or
inhibit the intra-RBC growth of the parasite contribute to but are not sufficient for the acquisition of malaria immunity.
Infection and immunity 11/2009; 78(2):737-45. DOI:10.1128/IAI.00960-09 · 3.73 Impact Factor