Detection of Antibodies in Human Sera to the Repeating Epitope of the Circumsporozoite Protein of Plasmodium falciparum Using the Synthetic Peptide (NANP)3 in an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)

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  • * Malaria Branch
  • Office of the Director, Division of Parasitic Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia 30333
  • Clinical Research Center, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
  • § Saradidi Rural Health Project, Saradidi, Kenya

An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed to detect antibody in human sera to a synthetic peptide, Asn-Ala-Asn-Pro (NANP)3, derived from the repeating amino acid sequence found in the surface circumsporozoite protein of Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites. One hundred four sera from U.S. residents were used to determine a cut-off value for reactivity. Test sera were considered reactive when the absorbance was greater than that at the 95th percentile of the control sera. Sera from 112 Kenyans living in an area of holoendemic malaria transmission were tested. Of the total number of sera, 65% had detectable antibody to (NANP)3. The percentage of reactive sera increased from 41% in sera from children under 4 years of age to 85% in sera from adults 20 to 39 years of age. The high exposure to malaria parasites of the Kenyans was reflected in indirect fluorescent antibody assay titers to blood stage P. falciparum parasites. All of the Kenyan sera had antibody present at titers greater than 1:256.