Volume 71, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


A number of stage-specific antigens have been characterized for vaccine development in malaria. The polymorphic merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1) of is a major asexual blood stage malaria vaccine candidate antigen. In the present study, we analyzed the impact of hyperendemic malaria transmission, mesoendemic malaria transmission, and multiple infection on allelic diversity. We have used a simple strategy of polymerase chain reaction amplification and slot-blot hybridization to analyze variable regions of block-2, block-4 and blocks 6–10 of the MSP-1 gene. The allelic types of isolates collected from regions of hyperendemic malaria transmission (RHEMT) and mesoendemic malaria transmission (RMEMT) were compared. In RHEMT, 20 of 24 possible gene types were found among 163 isolates and more than one allelic type was found in 82 (50.3%) of the isolates. Thirteen of 24 possible gene types were found among 125 isolates in RMEMT and 27 (21.6%) of them contained more than one allele type. Our results suggest for the first time that the allelic distribution or allelic diversity and chances of finding multi-strain parasites in isolates in an area vary with the rate of transmission. Analyses of isolates containing more than one strain of parasite suggest that allelic types are randomly distributed, no specific type of alleles predominately show multi-strain infection, and neither strain of the parasite affect the process of infection and development of another.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Holder AA, 1993. Developments with anti-malaria vaccines. Ann N Y Acad Sci 700 : 7–21. [Google Scholar]
  2. Diggs CL, Miller LH, 1993. The major merozoite surface protein as a malaria vaccine target. Parasitol Today 9 : 300–302. [Google Scholar]
  3. Egan AF, Chappel JA, Burghans PA, Morris JS, McBride JS, Holder AA, Kaslow DC, Riley EM, 1995. Serum antibodies from malaria exposed people recognize conserved epitopes formed by the two epidermal growth factor motifs of MSP1-19, the carboxyl-terminal fragment of the major merozoite surface protein of Plasmodium falciparum. Infect Immun 63 : 456–466. [Google Scholar]
  4. Muller HM, Fruh K, von Brunn KA, Esposito F, Lombardi S, Crisanti A, Bujard H, 1989. Development of the human immune response against the major merozoite surface protein (gp 190) of Plasmodium falciparum. Infect Immun 57 : 3765–3769. [Google Scholar]
  5. Riley EM, Morris-Jones S, Blackman MJ, Greenwood BM, Holder AA, 1993. A longitudinal study of naturally acquired cellular and humoral immune responses to a merozoite surface protein (MSP1) of Plasmodium falciparum in an area of seasonal transmission. Parasite Immunol 15 : 513–524. [Google Scholar]
  6. Riley EM, Allen SJ, Wheeler JA, Blackman MJ, Benett S, Takacs B, Schoenfeld HJ, Holder AA, Greenwood BM, 1992. Naturally acquired cellular and humoral immune responses to the major merozoite surface antigen (PfMSP1) of Plasmodium falciparum are associated with reduced malaria mortality. Parasite Immunol 14 : 321–337. [Google Scholar]
  7. Good MF, Kaslow DC, Miller LH, 1998. Pathways and strategies for developing malaria blood stage vaccine. Annu Rev Immunol 16 : 57–84. [Google Scholar]
  8. Tanabe K, Mackay M, Goman M, Scaife JG, 1987. Allelic dimorphism in a surface antigen gene of Plasmodium falciparum. Mol Biochem Parasitol 195 : 273–287. [Google Scholar]
  9. Tolle RK, Fruh O, Duombo O, Koita MN, Diaye A, Fishchen KD, Bujard H, 1993. A prospective study of the association between the humoral immune response to Plasmodium falciparum blood stage antigen gp190 and control of malaria infections. Infect Immun 61 : 40–47. [Google Scholar]
  10. Fruh KO, Duombo HM, Muller O, Koita J, Mc Bride A, Cristanti Y, Toure BL, Bujard H, 1991. Human antibody response to the major merozoite surface antigen of Plasmodium falciparum is strains specific and short lived. Infect Immun 59 : 1319–1324. [Google Scholar]
  11. Babiker HA, Salti G, Wallikes D, 1995. Genetic changes in the populations of Plasmodium falciparum in a Sudanese village over a three-year period. Am J Trop Med Hyg 53 : 7–15. [Google Scholar]
  12. Foley M, Ranford-Cartwroght LC, Babiker HA, 1992. Rapid and simple method for isolating malaria DNA from fingerprick samples of blood. Mol Biochem Parasitol 53 : 241–244. [Google Scholar]
  13. Rubio JM, Benito A, Roche J, Berzosa PJ, Garcia ML, Mico M, Edu M, Alvar J, 1999. Semi-nested multiplex polymerase chain reaction for detection of human malaria parasites and evidence of Plasmodium vivax infection in Equatorial Guinea. Am J Trop Med Hyg 60 : 183–187. [Google Scholar]
  14. Miller LH, Roberts T, Shahabuddin M, Mc Gutcharn TF, 1993. Analysis of sequence diversity in the Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein-1 (MSP-1). Mol Biochem Parasitol 59 : 1–14. [Google Scholar]
  15. Conway DJ, Roper C, Oduola AM, Arnot DE, Kremsner PG, Grobusch MP, Curtis CF, Greenwood BM, 1996. High recombination rate in natural populations of Plasmodium falciparum. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 96 : 4506–4511. [Google Scholar]
  16. Ferreira MU, Liu Q, Zhou M, Kimura BT, Ndawi O, Kaneco H, Thien V, Isomura S, Tanabe K, Kawamoto F, 1998. Stable patterns of allelic diversity at the merozoite surface protein-1 locus of Plasmodium falciparum in clinical isolates from southern Vietnam. J Eukaryot Microbiol 45 : 131–136. [Google Scholar]
  17. Cavanagh DR, Elhassan IM, Roper C, Robinson VJ, Giha H, Holder AA, Hviid L, Theander TG, Arnot DE, Mc Bride JS, 1998. A longitudinal study of type-specific antibody responses to Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein-1 in an area of unstable malaria in Sudan. J Immunol 16 : 347–359. [Google Scholar]
  18. Conway DJ, Rosario V, Odula AMJ, Salako LA, Greenwood BM, Mc Bridge JS, 1991. Plasmodium falciparum intragenic recombination and non-random associations between polymorphic domains of the precursor to the major merozoite surface antigens. Exp Parasitol 73 : 469–480. [Google Scholar]
  19. Ferroera MV, Liu Q, Kimura M, Ndawi BJ, Tanabe K, Kawamoto F, 1998. Allelic diversity in the merozoite surface protein-1 and epidemiology of multiple-clone Plasmodium falciparum infections in northern Tanzania. J Parasitol 84: 1286–1289. [Google Scholar]
  20. Kameko O, Kimura M, Kawamoto F, Ferreira MU, Tanabe K, 1997. Plasmodium falciparum variation in the merozoite surface protein-1 gene in wild isolates from southern Vietnam. Exp Parasitol 86 : 45–57. [Google Scholar]
  21. Jongwutiwes S, Tanabe K, Nakazawa S, Uemura H, Kanbara H, 1991. Coexistance of gp195 alleles of Plasmodium falciparum in a small endemic area. Am J Trop Med Hyg 44 : 299–305. [Google Scholar]
  22. Genton B, Anders RF, Alpers MP, Reeder JC, 2003. The malaria vaccine development program in Papua New Guinea. Trends Parasitol 19 : 264–270. [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 16 Sep 2003
  • Accepted : 24 Feb 2004

Most Cited This Month

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