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A single gene copy merozoite surface antigen and immune evasion?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/1996
<mark>Journal</mark>Parasite Immunology
Issue number4
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)165-172
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


During the course of chronic malaria infection antigenic variants of a parasite antigen are expressed and exposed on the surface of infected erythrocyte membranes. There also exists a number of apparently invariant single gene copy blood-stage antigens, exposed or non-exposed, which have been shown to afford immunity under experimental conditions. To determine why the host, presented with invariant 'protective' antigens, is unable to control infections effectively, immunity to a representative single gene copy antigen, the merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) was investigated in Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi AS, a murine model of chronic malaria. Immunization with monoclonal antibody affinity purified native MSP1 resulted in enhanced control of parasitaemia on challenge, irrespective of the parasite inoculum size; challenge with a single parasite, however, suggested that expansion of resistant parasite subpopulations was not occurring. Challenge of mice immunized with recombinant fusion proteins encoding N- or C-terminal regions of the P.c. chabaudi AS MSP1 produced inconsistent effects, often parasitaemias were indistinguishable from controls despite significant anti-MSP1 antibody responses. The not unlikely contamination of MSP1 native preparations with erythrocyte (E) components was considered. Immunization with a mixture of the MSP1 C-terminus recombinant polypeptide and a Triton X-100 solubilized lysate of normal E resulted in enhanced control of parasitaemia, however, no effect was seen after administration of either component on its own. Co-immunization of E with the N-terminus polypeptide reversed the inhibition seen, on this occasion with this construct alone.