Antibody response of naturally infected individuals to recombinant Plasmodium vivax apical membrane antigen-1

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Rodriguesa, MHC
Rodrigues, K. M.
Oliveira, T. R.
Comodo, A. N.
Rodrigues, M. M.
Kocken, CHM
Thomas, A. W.
Soares, I. S.
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In the present study, we evaluate the naturally acquired antibody response to the Plasmodium vivax apical membrane antigen 1 (PvAMA-1), a leading vaccine candidate against malaria. the gene encoding the PvAMA-1 ectodomain region (amino acids 43-487) was cloned by PCR using genomic DNA from a Brazilian individual with patent P. vivax infection. the predicted amino acid sequence displayed a high degree of identity (97.3%) with a previously published sequence from the P. viva-v Salvador strain. A recombinant protein representing the PvAMA-1 ectodomain was expressed in Escherichia coli and refolded. By ELISA, this recombinant protein reacted with 85 and 48.5% of the IgG or IgM antibodies, respectively, from Brazilian individuals with patent P. vivax malaria. IgG I was the predominant subclass of IgG. the frequency of response increased according to the number of malaria episodes, reaching 100% in individuals in their fourth malaria episode. the high degree of recognition of PvAMA-1 by human antibodies was confirmed using a second recombinant protein expressed in Pichia pastoris (PV66/AMA-1). the observation that recognition of the bacterial recombinant PvAMA-1 was only slightly lower than that of the highly immunogenic 19 kDa C-terminal domain of the P. vivax Merozoite Surface Protein-1 was also important. DNA sequencing of the PvAMA-1 variable domain from 20 Brazilian isolates confirmed the limited polymorphism of PvAMA-1 suggested by serological analysis. in conclusion, we provide evidence that PvAMA-1 is highly immunogenic during natural infection in humans and displays limited polymorphism in Brazil. Based on these observations, we conclude that PvAMA-1 merits further immunological studies as a vaccine candidate against P. vivax malaria. (C) 2004 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
International Journal for Parasitology. Oxford: Pergamon-Elsevier B.V., v. 35, n. 2, p. 185-192, 2005.