Antibody Responses to a Novel Plasmodium falciparum Merozoite Surface Protein Vaccine Correlate with Protection against Experimental Malaria Infection in Aotus Monkeys

David R Cavanagh, Clemens H M Kocken, John H White, Graeme J M Cowan, Kay Samuel, Martin A Dubbeld, Annemarie Voorberg-van der Wel, Alan W Thomas, Jana S McBride, David E Arnot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The Block 2 region of the merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1) of Plasmodium falciparum has been identified as a target of protective immunity by a combination of seroepidemiology and parasite population genetics. Immunogenicity studies in small animals and Aotus monkeys were used to determine the efficacy of recombinant antigens derived from this region of MSP-1 as a potential vaccine antigen. Aotus lemurinus griseimembra monkeys were immunized three times with a recombinant antigen derived from the Block 2 region of MSP-1 of the monkey-adapted challenge strain, FVO of Plasmodium falciparum, using an adjuvant suitable for use in humans. Immunofluorescent antibody assays (IFA) against erythrocytes infected with P. falciparum using sera from the immunized monkeys showed that the MSP-1 Block 2 antigen induced significant antibody responses to whole malaria parasites. MSP-1 Block 2 antigen-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) showed no significant differences in antibody titers between immunized animals. Immunized animals were challenged with the virulent P. falciparum FVO isolate and monitored for 21 days. Two out of four immunized animals were able to control their parasitaemia during the follow-up period, whereas two out of two controls developed fulminating parasitemia. Parasite-specific serum antibody titers measured by IFA were four-fold higher in protected animals than in unprotected animals. In addition, peptide-based epitope mapping of serum antibodies from immunized Aotus showed distinct differences in epitope specificities between protected and unprotected animals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e83704
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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