Prevalence of Antibody to the Variant Repeat of the Circumsporozoite Protein of Plasmodium Vivax in Peru

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  • US Naval Medical Research Institute Detachment, Occidental Petroleum Corporation of Peru, Department of Entomology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Lima, Peru
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Individuals living in a malaria-endemic area in northern Peru were found to have antibodies to the variant repeat sequence of the circumsporozoite (CS) protein of Plasmodium vivax. The presence of IgG antibody to the predominant repeat sequence GDRAA/DGQPA represented by the recombinant protein NS181 V20 (V20), and the variant repeat sequence ANGAGNQPG contained in the synthetic peptide Pvk247, was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. IgG antibodies to the repeats were present in 78 (26%) of 298 serum samples; 56% of the positive serum samples had antibodies to V20 and 60% had antibodies to Pvk247. These findings stress the importance of considering the variant epitope in designing a vaccine based on the repeat region of the vivax CS protein. In a malaria-endemic area such as the one in this study, in which exposure to the variant repeat epitope may be as frequent as exposure to the predominant repeat, a vaccine based solely on the predominant repeat epitope may be ineffective against the variant form.