Renal Pathology in Owl Monkeys Vaccinated with Plasmodium falciparum Asexual Blood-Stage Synthetic Peptide Antigens

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  • Institute of Pathology. Case Western Reserve University, Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Cleveland, Ohio
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Renal specimens from Aotus monkeys were studied by light microscopy and immunohistochemistry to examine pathologic changes following vaccination with synthetic peptides corresponding to the 35-kD, 55-kD, and 83-kD asexual blood stage antigens of Plasmodium falciparum. The monkeys were vaccinated and later challenged with P. falciparum. In the monkeys vaccinated with Centers for Disease Control peptides (group I), specimens from four of six postvaccinated animals had mild to severe mesangial proliferation and two had diffuse interstitial nephritis. Specimens from three monkeys vaccinated with Colombia peptides (group II) had mild to severe mesangial proliferation and one had interstitial nephritis. In the hybrid polymer-vaccinated monkeys (group III), specimens from three animals had mild to moderate mesangial proliferation and one had severe interstitial nephritis. On the other hand, the control group immunized with bovine serum albumin (group IV) showed that specimens from three animals had mild to severe mesangial proliferation and two had severe interstitial nephritis. In the nonimmunized group (group V), specimens from three animals had moderate to severe mesangial proliferation and two had severe and mild interstitial nephritis. Immunohistochemical analysis using the peroxidase-antiperoxidase method revealed mesangial deposits of P. falciparum antigens in 11 of 14 vaccinated monkeys and in five of 10 unvaccinated controls. These results show that treatment of monkeys with prospective malaria vaccines does not increase the frequency of occurrence or of the severity of renal lesions. These data thus provide a baseline for assessing the safety of synthetic malarial vaccines in the future.

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