Fluorescent-Antibody Patterns in Naturally Acquired Vivax Malaria

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  • National Communicable Disease Center, Health Services and Mental Health Administration, U.S. Public Health Service, Womack Army Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia 30333

The serum of soldiers returned from Vietnam with vivax malaria was examined for up to 1 year after clinical onset by the indirect fluorescence test for malaria antibodies (IFA). Over the entire period, the antibody response was similar in patients with and without a history of previous malaria attacks, and, among the former, was not altered by the number of previous attacks nor by the time interval since their occurrence. Among the small number of patients who later had relapse, the post-treatment, pre-relapse titers of antibodies were not significantly different from those of radically cured patients. In vivax malaria, the IFA titer against Plasmodium vivax antigen usually exceeds that against Plasmodium falciparum; however, the reverse was true early in the clinical course of one patient with a history of two previous attacks of falciparum malaria.