Enhancing neutralization of Plasmodium falciparum using a novel monoclonal antibody against the rhoptry-associated membrane antigen

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The pathogenesis of malaria is associated with blood-stage infection and there is strong evidence that antibodies specific to parasite blood-stage antigens can control parasitemia. This provides a strong rational for applying blood-stage antigen components in a multivalent vaccine, as the induced antibodies in combination can enhance protection. The Plasmodium falciparum rhoptry-associated membrane antigen (PfRAMA) is a promising vaccine target, due to its fundamental role in merozoite invasion and low level of polymorphism. Polyclonal antibodies against PfRAMA are able to inhibit P. falciparum growth and interact synergistically when combined with antibodies against P. falciparum reticulocyte-binding protein 5 (PfRh5) or cysteine-rich protective antigen (PfCyRPA). In this study, we identified a novel PfRAMA-specific mAb with neutralizing activity, which in combination with PfRh5- or PfCyRPA-specific mAbs potentiated the neutralizing effect. By applying phage display technology, we mapped the protective epitope to be in the C-terminal region of PfRAMA. Our results confirmed previous finding of synergy between PfRAMA-, PfRh5- and PfCyRPA-specific antibodies, thereby paving the way of testing these antigens (or fragments of these antigens) in combination to improve the efficacy of blood-stage malaria vaccines. The results emphasize the importance of directing antibody responses towards protective epitopes, as the majority of anti-PfRAMA mAbs were unable to inhibit merozoite invasion of erythrocytes.

TidsskriftScientific Reports
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - 2022

Bibliografisk note

© 2022. The Author(s).

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