Volume 55, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



A critical role has been proposed for cytophilic IgG and IgG subclass antibodies and monocytes and macrophages in antimalarial immunity. Here we compared the isotype composition and avidity of naturally acquired antibodies, as measured by enzyme immunoassay against a detergent-soluble extract of schizonts, in clinically immune Senegalese adults (n = 33) and semi-immune, adult Amazonian patients (n = 25). Plasma were collected during an acute symptomatic attack and two months later, and in the absence of recrudescence or reinfection. Specific IgG, IgM, IgA, and IgG subclass antibodies were assessed. The results are summarized as follows: 1) high-avidity cytophilic antibodies predominated in clinically immune Senegalese subjects; 2) acutely ill Amazonian patients produced high levels of low-avidity cytophilic antibody; 3) such a response was short-lived, since two months later, the concentrations of cytophilic antibodies were significantly lower; 4) however, affinity maturation of IgG antibodies was observed in Amazonian patients two months after the acute malaria attack. A considerable proportion (35–46%) of anti- IgG antibodies produced by African and Amazonian patients was shown to recognize periodate-sensitive carbohydrate epitopes. The potential impact of these findings on the design and evaluation of antimalarial vaccines is discussed.


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