Characteristics of Natural Antibody Responses to the Circumsporozoite Protein of Plasmodium Vivax

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  • Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Bangkok, Thailand
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The antibody response to the prototype circumsporozoite (CS) protein of Plasmodium vivax (CSPV) was studied in Thai soldiers experiencing occupational malaria. Seventy-four (65%) of 114 men followed during assignment to a malaria transmission area developed blood-stage infection with P. vivax. IgG antibodies against the central repeat region of the CSPV protein were quantitated by ELISA using the recombinant protein, NS181V20, as the capture antigen. One quarter of the subjects had detectable anti-CSPV antibodies at the beginning of the study. CSPV antibody seroconversion was documented in 16 of 26 subjects assessed during their first observed episodes of vivax malaria. This antibody response was of moderate magnitude, fell off after the first week post-diagnosis and appeared, at the low levels observed, to be unassociated with protection. Continued assessment of anti-CSPV antibody after subjects left the transmission area found no increase associated with relapse of P. vivax. These findings indicate that CS antibody responses to P. vivax during occupational malaria share many characteristics with responses to P. falciparum.