Recognition of Plasmodium Falciparum Asexual Stage Antigens by Antibodies in Sera from People Exposed to Plasmodium Vivax

Nirbhay KumarDepartment of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, School of Hygiene and Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

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Jorge Perez FolgarDepartment of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, School of Hygiene and Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

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Proscovia LubegaDepartment of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, School of Hygiene and Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

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An analysis of Plasmodium falciparum antigen-specific antibodies was performed on 44 serum samples from Guatemala, a region endemic for P. vivax. Most sera showed positive reactivity to P. falciparum asexual stage antigens by indirect immunofluorescent assay, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and immunoprecipitation analysis using biosynthetically labeled parasites. Although several antigens were recognized by these sera, proteins with molecular weights of 195 kD, 140 kD, and in the range of 70–80 kD were strongly recognized by many of the sera studied. No such reactivity was observed for any of the surface antigens in the male and female gametes and zygotes of P. falciparum. These studies suggest that P. vivax and P. falciparum, two major human parasites, may share certain epitopes in several antigens of immunologic significance.

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