A malaria serological map indicating the intersection between parasite antigenic diversity and host antibody repertoires

H.A. Giha, G. ElGhazali, A.A. Nasr, N.C. Iriemenam, K. Berzins, M. Troye-Blomberg, D.E. Arnot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A malaria vaccine targeting Plasmodium falciparum remains a strategic goal for malaria control. If a polyvalent vaccine is to be developed, its subunits would probably be chosen based on immunogenicity (concentration of elicited antibodies) and associations of selected antigens with protection. We propose an additional possible selection criterion for the inclusion of subunit antigens; that is, coordination between elicited antibodies. For the quantitative estimation of this coordination, we developed a malaria serological map (MSM). Construction of the MSM was based on three categories of variables: (i) malaria antigens, (ii) total IgG and IgG subclasses, (iii) different sources of plasma. To validate the MSM, in this study, we used four malaria antigens (AMA1, MSP2-3D7, MSP2-FC27 and Pf332-C231) and re-grouped the plasma samples into five pairs of subsets based on age, gender, residence, HbAS and malaria morbidity in 9 years. The plasma total IgG and IgG subclasses to the test antigens were measured, and the whole material was used for the MSM construction. Most of the variables in the MSM were previously tested and their associations with malaria morbidity are known. The coordination of response to each antigens pair in the MSM was quantified as the correlation rate (CR = overall number of significant correlations/total number of correlations × 100 %). Unexpectedly, the results showed that low CRs were mostly associated with variables linked with malaria protection and the antigen eliciting the least CRs was the one associated with protection. The MSM is, thus, of potential value for vaccine design and understanding of malaria natural immunity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3117-3125
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number11
Early online date29 Jun 2012
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2012


  • Malaria
  • Malaria Vaccine
  • Malaria Episode
  • Correlation Rate
  • Malaria Morbidity


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