The western Kenya insecticide-treated bed net trial
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


As part of a large community-based trial on the impact of insecticide (permethrin)-treated bed nets (ITNs) on childhood morbidity and mortality in an area of intense perennial malaria transmission in western Kenya, we assessed the effects of ITNs on malaria-specific humoral responses in young children. The IgG responses to pre-erythrocytic antigens circumsporozoite protein (CSP) and liver stage antigen-1 (LSA-1) and the blood stage antigen merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1 kD) in children less than three years old were investigated during a series of cross-sectional surveys. At 14 and 22 months after the introduction of ITNs, the frequencies and levels of IgG to CSP and LSA-1 were significantly lower in children from ITN villages than in children from control villages ( < 0.001). In contrast, the prevalence of IgG to MSP-1 was significantly higher in children from ITN villages at 14 months ( = 0.0069), but not at 22 months. Our results show that decreased exposure by ITNs reduces IgG responses to pre-erythrocytic antigens, but there was no evidence that two years of ITN use compromises IgG responses to blood stage antigens in these young children in this malaria holoendemic area.


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