Plasmodium Falciparum Strain-Specific Human Antibody Inhibits Merozoite Invasion of Erythrocytes

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  • Unité 42 I.N.S.E.R.M., 369 rue Jules Guesde, FLERS 59650, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France
  • | Department of Immunology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D.C. 20307
  • | § Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

The extent to which human antibodies involved in functional immunity react with antigenic determinants varying between different isolates or strains of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum will influence the design of vaccines against malaria. We identified nine immune sera from Cambodian refugees which blocked in vitro invasion of erythrocytes by merozoites of the Camp strain of P. falciparum and agglutinated Camp strain merozoites. However, none of these sera blocked invasion of erythrocytes by merozoites of the FCR-3 strain. We conclude that antibodies in these human sera recognized antigenic determinants present on the surface of viable merozoites of the Camp strain but not the FCR-3 strain. These parasite strains and in vitro assays can be used to analyze strain-specific functional immunity in humans.