Volume 98, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The magnitude of antibody responses varies across the individual proteins that constitute any given microorganism, both in the context of natural infection and vaccination with attenuated or inactivated pathogens. The protein-specific factors underlying this variability are poorly understood. In 267 individuals exposed to intense seasonal malaria, we examined the relationship between immunoglobulin G (IgG) responses to 861 proteins and specific features of these proteins, including their subcellular location, relative abundance, degree of polymorphism, and whether they are predicted to have human orthologs. We found that IgG reactivity was significantly higher to extracellular and plasma membrane proteins and also correlated positively with both protein abundance and degree of protein polymorphism. Conversely, IgG reactivity was significantly lower to proteins predicted to have human orthologs. These findings provide insight into protein-specific factors that are associated with variability in the magnitude of antibody responses to natural infection—data that could inform vaccine strategies to optimize antibody-mediated immunity as well as the selection of antigens for sero-diagnostic purposes.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 05 Jun 2017
  • Accepted : 11 Sep 2017
  • Published online : 23 Oct 2017

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