Acquisition and decay of IgM and IgG responses to merozoite antigens after Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Ghanaian children

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Developing a vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum malaria has been challenging, primarily due to high levels of antigen polymorphism and a complex parasite lifecycle. Immunization with the P. falciparum merozoite antigens PfMSRP5, PfSERA9, PfRAMA, PfCyRPA and PfRH5 has been shown to give rise to growth inhibitory and synergistic antisera. Therefore, these five merozoite proteins are considered to be promising candidates for a second-generation multivalent malaria vaccine. Nevertheless, little is known about IgG and IgM responses to these antigens in populations that are naturally exposed to P. falciparum. In this study, serum samples from clinically immune adults and malaria exposed children from Ghana were studied to compare levels of IgG and IgM specific for PfMSRP5, PfSERA9, PfRAMA, PfCyRPA and PfRH5. All five antigens were found to be specifically recognized by both IgM and IgG in serum from clinically immune adults and from children with malaria. Longitudinal analysis of the latter group showed an early, transient IgM response that was followed by IgG, which peaked 14 days after the initial diagnosis. IgG levels and parasitemia did not correlate, whereas parasitemia was weakly positively correlated with IgM levels. These findings show that IgG and IgM specific for merozoite antigens PfMSRP5, PfSERA9, PfRAMA, PfCyRPA and PfRH5 are high in children during P. falciparum malaria, but that the IgM induction and decline occurs earlier in infection than that of IgG.

TidsskriftPLoS ONE
Udgave nummer12
Sider (fra-til)e0243943
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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