Identification of antigens which may advance malaria vaccine development

January 01, 0001

Identification of antigens which may advance malaria vaccine development

One of the criteria to objectively prioritize merozoite antigens for malaria vaccine development is the demonstration that naturally acquired antibodies are associated with protection from malaria. However, published evidence of the protective effect of these antibodies is conflicting. The researchers from Melbourne, Australia performed a systematic review with meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies examining the association between anti-merozoite immunoglobin (Ig) G responses and incidence of Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

The largest effect was observed with IgG to MSP-3 C terminus and MSP-119 (responders versus nonresponders, 54% and 18% relative reduction in risk, respectively) and there was evidence of a dose-response relationship. A tendency towards protective risk ratios was also observed for individual study estimates for apical membrane antigen (AMA)-1 and glutamate-rich protein (GLURP)-R0. Pooled estimates showed limited evidence of a protective effect for antibodies to MSP-1 N-terminal regions or MSP-1-EGF (epidermal growth factor-like modules). There was no significant evidence for the protective effect for MSP-2 (responders versus nonresponders pooled RR, MSP-2FC27 0.82 and MSP-23D7 0.92). Heterogeneity, in terms of clinical and methodological diversity between studies, was an important issue in the meta-analysis of IgG responses to merozoite antigens.

The researchers concluded: "These findings are valuable for advancing vaccine development by providing evidence supporting merozoite antigens as targets of protective immunity in humans, and to help identify antigens that confer protection from malaria."

A vaccine against malaria would be wonderful, but these are only ideas from a literature review.

For the full abstract, click here.

PLoS Med 7(1): e1000218, published online 19 January 2010 (doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000218)
© 2010 Fowkes et al
The Relationship between Anti-merozoite Antibodies and Incidence of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Freya J. I. Fowkes, Jack S. Richards, Julie A. Simpson and James G. Beeson. Correspondence to Freya Fowkes:

Category: B. Blood/Blood Forming Organs/Immune Mechanisms Keywords: anti merozoite, antibodies, incidence, Plasmodium falciparum, malaria, systematic review and metaanalysis, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 11 February 2010

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