A study of antibody and T cell recognition of rhoptry-associated protein-1 (RAP-1) and RAP-2 recombinant proteins and peptides of Plasmodium falciparum in migrants and residents of the state of Rondonia, Brazil.

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  • 1 Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, Washington 98117, USA.

Humoral and cellular responses were examined among natives and migrants in an area of the Amazon region of Brazil. Rhoptry-associated protein-1 (RAP-1) and RAP-2 expressed in Escherichia coli expression systems, a peptide corresponding to the epitope bound by inhibitory anti-RAP-1 antibodies, and four other RAP-1 and RAP-2 synthetic peptides were used in these studies. Plasma from the native population had greater IgG reactivity to the N-terminal third of RAP-1 than the migrant population; both populations had low levels of IgM to this region of RAP-1. The IgG reactivity to RAP-2 and to the C-terminal third of RAP-1, as well as for all the peptides, including the peptide from the inhibitory domain, were low or absent in both populations. In contrast, there were a high number of subjects with an IgM response to the peptides. Cellular responses were measured by proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and, in some subjects, by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for interleukin-2 (IL-2), interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), IL-4, and IL-10. Proliferation of PBMC was low when stimulated by recombinant proteins, peptides, or parasite lysate. Both RAP-1 and RAP-2 stimulated cytokine production by donor T cells; IL-2, IL-4, and IFN-gamma RNA transcripts were observed in response to recombinant proteins and parasite lysate, but with no uniform trends. From the observed antibody responses, RAP-1 appears to be more immunogenic than RAP-2.