Lymphocyte proliferation and antibody responses to Plasmodium falciparum liver-stage antigen-1 in a highland area of Kenya with seasonal variation in malaria transmission.

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  • 1 Division of Geographic Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Ohio 44106-4983, USA.

Lymphocyte proliferation and antibody responses to five peptides corresponding to the N- and C-terminal non-repeat and central repeat regions of Plasmodium falciparum liver-stage antigen-1 (LSA-1) were examined in residents of a highland area of Kenya where malaria transmission is episodic and varies with rainfall. The frequency of lymphocyte proliferation responses (stimulation index > 2) by children (persons > or = 6 years old) and adults (persons > or = 18 years old) was similar and did not differ significantly across seasons. In contrast, the proportion of individuals with IgG antibodies to LSA-1 peptides was higher in the rainy than dry season, and the frequency of these responses was greater for adults than children (39.4% versus 18.7% during the period of high transmission; P = 0.009). Antibodies to LSA-1 were primarily of the IgG1 and IgG3 subclasses, and these also varied with season (30.1% and 32.5% of individuals had IgG1 and IgG3 in the rainy season versus none and 10.9% in the dry season). There was no significant difference in the time to re-infection between groups of persons with or without IgG antibody or lymphocyte proliferation responses to LSA-1 peptides. These data indicate that age and transmission intensity independently affect IgG antibody responses to LSA-1 but do not influence lymphocyte proliferation in this highland area where malaria transmission is highly variable.