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ANALYSIS OF CIRCUMSPOROZOITE PROTEIN–SPECIFIC IMMUNE RESPONSES FOLLOWING RECENT INFECTION WITH PLASMODIUM VIVAX

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  • 1 The Cooperative Research Centre for Vaccine Technology, The Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Herston, Queensland, Australia; The Tropical Medicine Hospital, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

CD8+ and CD4+ T cells are involved in immunity to the pre-erythrocytic stage of malaria. This study has been undertaken to define T cell epitopes on the Plasmodium vivax circumsporozoite protein (CSP) and to analyze the early induction of immune response following infection. We identified CD4+ and CD8+ T epitopes recognized by different strains of mice as well as by humans. The CD4+ T cell response in mice was found to be similar in all strains, but variation between strains was evident. Five H-2d-restricted CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes, but no H-2k-or H-2b-restricted epitopes, could be defined. Non-H-2 genes were also able to regulate the response. In recently infected Thai adults, poor immunoresponsiveness was demonstrated. CTL activity and proliferative responses of T cells from malaria-exposed donors were very low. In contrast, exposed individuals had specific antibodies against the immunodominant repeats of both common strains of the P. vivax CSP; however, titers decreased following treatment.

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