The Isotype Composition and Avidity of Naturally Acquired Anti-Plasmodium falciparum Antibodies: Differential Patterns in Clinically Immune Africans and Amazonian Patients

Marcelo Urbano FerreiraDepartamento de Parasitologia, Instituto de Ciencias Biomedicas, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Programa de Malaria, Instituto Evandro Chagas, Sao Paulo, Brazil

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Emilia Akemi Shiraishi KimuraDepartamento de Parasitologia, Instituto de Ciencias Biomedicas, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Programa de Malaria, Instituto Evandro Chagas, Sao Paulo, Brazil

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Jose Maria de SouzaDepartamento de Parasitologia, Instituto de Ciencias Biomedicas, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Programa de Malaria, Instituto Evandro Chagas, Sao Paulo, Brazil

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Alejandro Miguel KatzinDepartamento de Parasitologia, Instituto de Ciencias Biomedicas, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Programa de Malaria, Instituto Evandro Chagas, Sao Paulo, Brazil

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A critical role has been proposed for cytophilic IgG1 and IgG3 subclass antibodies and monocytes and macrophages in antimalarial immunity. Here we compared the isotype composition and avidity of naturally acquired antibodies, as measured by enzyme immunoassay against a detergent-soluble extract of Plasmodium falciparum schizonts, in clinically immune Senegalese adults (n = 33) and semi-immune, adult Amazonian patients (n = 25). Plasma were collected during an acute symptomatic P. falciparum attack and two months later, and in the absence of recrudescence or reinfection. Specific IgG, IgM, IgA, and IgG subclass antibodies were assessed. The results are summarized as follows: 1) high-avidity cytophilic antibodies predominated in clinically immune Senegalese subjects; 2) acutely ill Amazonian patients produced high levels of low-avidity cytophilic antibody; 3) such a response was short-lived, since two months later, the concentrations of cytophilic antibodies were significantly lower; 4) however, affinity maturation of IgG antibodies was observed in Amazonian patients two months after the acute malaria attack. A considerable proportion (35–46%) of anti-P. falciparum IgG1 antibodies produced by African and Amazonian patients was shown to recognize periodate-sensitive carbohydrate epitopes. The potential impact of these findings on the design and evaluation of antimalarial vaccines is discussed.

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