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INDUCTION OF TRANSMISSION-BLOCKING IMMUNITY IN AOTUS MONKEYS BY VACCINATION WITH A PLASMODIUM VIVAX CLINICAL GRADE PVS25 RECOMBINANT PROTEIN

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  • 1 Instituto de Inmunología del Valle, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia; Malaria Vaccine and Drug Development Center, Cali, Colombia; Malaria Vaccine Development Branch and Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

Aotus monkeys were used to determine the immunogenicity of Pvs25 protein expressed in the zygote/ookinete surface. Animals were immunized in three times with 100 μg of Pvs25 formulated in Montanide ISA-720. Antibodies to Pvs25 detected by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay appeared by day 30 after the first immunization, with a peak of antibodies levels on day 150. These antibodies were still detectable on day 300. Plasma samples on day 150 from experimental group were able to completely block the development of the parasite in Anopheles albimanus mosquitoes artificially fed with human isolates of Plasmodium vivax. Immunized Aotus monkeys were infected with blood forms of the P. vivax Salvador I strain and no boosting effect of blood infection on titers of antibodies to Pvs25 was observed despite the presence of infective gametocytes. In conclusion, Pvs25 protein formulated in Montanide ISA-720 induces efficient and long-lasting transmission-blocking antibodies that cannot be boosted by parasite infection.

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