Volume 51, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The prevalence and concentration of antibodies to merozoite surface antigen-2 (MSA-2) were measured in blood samples collected during a cross-sectional survey. Antibodies were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using two recombinant proteins that closely approximated the full-length mature MSA-2 polypeptides expressed by the isolate FC27 and the cloned line 3D7 and that were representative of the dimorphic forms of MSA-2. Antibodies were also measured to a form of the 3D7 MSA-2 lacking the central repetitive sequences (d3D7). High antibody prevalence was observed to all three antigens: the overall prevalence of IgG to FC27, 3D7, and d3D7 was 91%, 90%, and 90%, respectively. The majority of individuals ≥ 5 years of age had antibodies to both forms of MSA-2. The geometric mean antibody units increased with age with a plateau being reached by 15–20 years of age. There was a significant positive association of antibody prevalence with both the presence of the parasite and an enlarged spleen in children. This study provides the first evidence that antibodies against nonrepeat regions of MSA-2 are associated with fewer fever episodes and less anemia, both known to be indicators of malaria morbidity.


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