image of Impact of Sickle Cell Trait and Naturally Acquired Immunity on Uncomplicated Malaria after Controlled Human Malaria Infection in Adults in Gabon
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) by direct venous inoculation (DVI) with 3,200 cryopreserved sporozoites (PfSPZ) consistently leads to parasitemia and malaria symptoms in malaria-naive adults. We used CHMI by DVI to investigate infection rates, parasite kinetics, and malaria symptoms in lifelong malaria–exposed (semi-immune) Gabonese adults with and without sickle cell trait. Eleven semi-immune Gabonese with normal hemoglobin (IA), nine with sickle cell trait (IS), and five nonimmune European controls with normal hemoglobin (NI) received 3,200 PfSPZ by DVI and were followed 28 days for parasitemia by thick blood smear (TBS) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and for malaria symptoms. End points were time to parasitemia and parasitemia plus symptoms. PfSPZ Challenge was well tolerated and safe. Five of the five (100%) NI, 7/11 (64%) IA, and 5/9 (56%) IS volunteers developed parasitemia by TBS, and 5/5 (100%) NI, 9/11 (82%) IA, and 7/9 (78%) IS by qPCR, respectively. The time to parasitemia by TBS was longer in IA (geometric mean 16.9 days) and IS (19.1 days) than in NA (12.6 days) volunteers ( = 0.016, 0.021, respectively). Five of the five, 6/9, and 1/7 volunteers with parasitemia developed symptoms ( = 0.003, NI versus IS). Naturally acquired immunity (NAI) to malaria significantly prolonged the time to parasitemia. Sickle cell trait seemed to prolong it further. NAI plus sickle cell trait, but not NAI alone, significantly reduced symptom rate. Twenty percent (4/20) semi-immunes demonstrated sterile protective immunity. Standardized CHMI with PfSPZ Challenge is a powerful tool for dissecting the impact of innate and naturally acquired adaptive immunity on malaria.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Published online : 18 Dec 2017
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error