Variations in the quality of malaria-specific antibodies with transmission intensity in a seasonal malaria transmission area of Northern Ghana

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 12, Issue 9)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 9,221 words
Lexile Measure: 1700L

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Abstract :

Introduction Plasmodium falciparum induced antibodies are key components of anti-malarial immunity in malaria endemic areas, but their antigen targets can be polymorphic. Induction of a high proportion of strain-specific antibodies will limit the recognition of a broad diversity of parasite strains by these responses. There are indications that circulating parasite diversity varies with malaria transmission intensity, and this may affect the specificity of elicited anti-malarial antibodies. This study therefore assessed the effect of varying malaria transmission patterns on the specificity of elicited antibody responses and to identify possible antibody correlates of naturally acquired immunity to malaria in children in an area of Ghana with seasonal malaria transmission. Methods This retrospective study utilized plasma samples collected longitudinally at six time points from children aged one to five years. Multiplex assays were used to measure antibody levels against four P. falciparum AMA 1 variants (from the 3D7, FVO, HB3 and CAMP parasite strains) and the 3D7 variant of the EBA 175 region II antigen and the levels compared between symptomatic and asymptomatic children. The relative proportions of cross-reactive and strain-specific antibodies against the four AMA 1 variants per sampling time point were assessed by Bland-Altman plots. The levels of antibodies against allelic AMA1 variants, measured by singleplex and multiplex luminex assays, were also compared. Results The data show that increased transmission intensity is associated with higher levels of cross-reactive antibody responses, most likely a result of a greater proportion of multiple parasite clone infections during the high transmission period. Anti-AMA1 antibodies were however associated with a history of infection rather than protection in this age group. Conclusion The data contribute to understanding the underlying mechanism of the acquisition of strain-transcending antibody immunity following repeated exposure to diverse parasite strains.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A506437448