Parasite infectivity and immunity to Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes in Gambian children.


Drakeley, CJ; Eling, W; Teelen, K; Bousema, JT; Sauerwein, R; Greenwood, BM; Targett, GA; (2004) Parasite infectivity and immunity to Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes in Gambian children. Parasite immunology, 26 (4). pp. 159-65. ISSN 0141-9838 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0141-9838.2004.00696.x

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Abstract

SUMMARY Immunity to the sexual stages of Plasmodium falciparum can be induced during natural infections. Characterization of this immunity may facilitate the design of a transmission-blocking vaccine (TBV). This study aimed to assess the prevalence and serological correlates of functional transmission-blocking immunity in Gambian children (aged 1-4 years old) who were P. falciparum gametocyte carriers. Serological assays showed 100% response to fixed, whole parasites but only 42% to live gametes. Responses to the antigens Pfs230 and Pfs48/45 were 54.1% and 37.3%, respectively, in an IgG1 ELISA. 14/55 sera were capable of reducing the infectivity of laboratory isolate NF54 in a standard membrane-feeding assay (SMFA). This activity was strongly correlated with IgG1 responses to Pfs48/45 (r = 0.49, P < 0.001) and to a serological reaction with epitopes of the same molecule (r = 0.38, P = 0.003). A weaker correlation was observed with IgG1 to Pfs230 (r = 0.29, P = 0.03). In direct membrane feeding assays (DMFA) with autologous isolates, sera from 4/29 children showed transmission-blocking activity. There was no correlation with serological assays and the DMFA or between the SMFA and DMFA. This may be caused by variation in sexual stage antigens and/or alternative modes of transmission-blocking immunity, both of which have implications for vaccine implementation.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Immunology and Infection
Research Centre: Malaria Centre
PubMed ID: 15367293
Web of Science ID: 223863500001
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/14396

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