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Improving Human Immunity To Malaria

The deadliest form of malaria is caused the protozoan Plasmodium falciparum. During its life-cycle in human blood, the parasite P. falciparum expresses unique on the surface on infected blood cells. Antibodies to these are associated with protection from malaria, however, the identity of (s) that elicit the strongest immune response is unknown.

Dr. and colleagues at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Victoria, Australia have developed novel assays with transgenic P. falciparum expressing modified , allowing the researchers to quantify serum antibodies to among malaria-exposed children and adults. They found that most of the human antibody response to the targets a parasite protein known as PfEMP1.

Moreover, they showed that people with PfEMP1-specific antibodies had a reduced risk of , whereas antibodies to other surface antigens were not associated with protective immunity.

These findings suggest antibodies against PfEMP mediate human immunity to malaria and have implications for future .

TITLE: Targets of antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes in malaria immunity



Journal of Clinical Investigation