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Antigenic Diversity of the Plasmodium vivax Circumsporozoite Protein in Parasite Isolates of Western Colombia

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  • Malaria Vaccine and Drug Development Center, Cali, Colombia; Fundación Centro de Primates, Cali, Colombia; Instituto de Inmunología del Valle, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia; School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

Circumsporozoite (CS) protein is a malaria antigen involved in sporozoite invasion of hepatocytes, and thus considered to have good vaccine potential. We evaluated the polymorphism of the Plasmodium vivax CS gene in 24 parasite isolates collected from malaria-endemic areas of Colombia. We sequenced 27 alleles, most of which (25/27) corresponded to the VK247 genotype and the remainder to the VK210 type. All VK247 alleles presented a mutation (Gly → Asn) at position 28 in the N-terminal region, whereas the C-terminal presented three insertions: the ANKKAGDAG, which is common in all VK247 isolates; 12 alleles presented the insertion GAGGQAAGGNAANKKAGDAG; and 5 alleles presented the insertion GGNAGGNA. Both repeat regions were polymorphic in gene sequence and size. Sequences coding for B-, T-CD4+, and T-CD8+ cell epitopes were found to be conserved. This study confirms the high polymorphism of the repeat domain and the highly conserved nature of the flanking regions.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Sócrates Herrera, Malaria Vaccine and Drug Development Center, Carrera 37 - 2Bis No. 5E - 08, Cali, Colombia. E-mail: sherrera@inmuno.org

Financial support: This work was supported by grants from National Institute of Health (NIH), the Instituto Colombiano Francisco José de Caldas para la Ciencia y la Tecnología COLCIENCIAS, and the Colombian Ministry for Social Protection (contract no. 216-2006) and through an International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research NIAID/ICEMR grant no U 19AI089702.

Authors' addresses: Miguel Ángel Hernández Martínez, Myriam Arévalo-Herrera, and Sócrates Herrera, Instituto de Inmunología, Edificio de Microbiología, Facultad de Salud, Universidad del Valle and Centro Internacional de Vacunas, Cali, Colombia, E-mails: miangher@hotmail.com, marevalo@inmuno.org, and sherrera@inmuno.org. Ananías A. Escalante, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, E-mail: Ananias.Escalante@asu.edu.

Reprint requests: Sócrates Herrera, Malaria Vaccine and Drug Development Center, Carrera 37 - 2Bis No. 5E - 08, Cali, Colombia, E-mail: sherrera@inmuno.org.

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