Humoral Response to Plasmodium falciparum Ring-Infected Erythrocyte Surface Antigen in a Highly Endemic Area of Papua New Guinea

Fadwa Al-YamanPapua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Madang, Papua New Guinea

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Blaise GentonPapua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Madang, Papua New Guinea

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Michael FalkPapua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Madang, Papua New Guinea

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Robin F. AndersPapua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Madang, Papua New Guinea

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Don LewisPapua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Madang, Papua New Guinea

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Jeffery HiiPapua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Madang, Papua New Guinea

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Hans-Peter BeckPapua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Madang, Papua New Guinea

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Michael P. AlpersPapua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Madang, Papua New Guinea

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The prevalence and concentration of antibodies to ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen (RESA) were measured in blood samples collected during a cross-sectional survey conducted in Papua New Guinea. Antibodies were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to the recombinant RESA protein in 1,398 subjects and to RESA 8 and RESA 11 synthetic peptides in a subsample of 200 adults. Overall, the seropositivity rate to recombinant RESA was 66% and the geometric mean antibody concentration was 28 µg/ml. There was a slow increase in antibody prevalence and concentration with age that continued to occur even after 40 years of age. In children less than 10 years of age, there was a significant positive correlation between both RESA antibody prevalence and concentration and concurrent infection with Plasmodium falciparum. The opposite was true in adults more than 20 years of age, with those having a high antibody concentration to RESA being less likely to be parasitemic at the time of the survey. This observation was consistent with the finding of a weak but significant negative correlation between log antibody concentration and log P. falciparum density, which was mainly found in adults. No consistent correlation was found between humoral immune response to RESA and morbidity indicators.

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