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Parasite Immunol. 1999 Mar;21(3):133-9.

Human antibodies to the 19kDa C-terminal fragment of Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 inhibit parasite growth in vitro.

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Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.


The 19kDa, C-terminal fragment of the major surface protein of Plasmodium falciparum (PfMSP1(19)) is a candidate for inclusion in a subunit malaria vaccine. In this study, we show that PfMSP1(19)-specific antibodies, affinity purified from malaria-immune human serum, can: (i) compete with invasion-inhibitory monoclonal antibodies for binding to PfMSP1(19) and (ii) mediate inhibition of parasite growth in vitro, in the absence of complement and mononuclear cells, at physiological antibody concentrations (100 micrograms/ml). Parasites expressing either the Kl or 3D7 allele of PfMSP1(19) were equally susceptible to inhibition of merozoite invasion, indicating that the target epitopes of inhibitory antibodies are conserved or cross-reactive. These studies suggest that vaccines designed to induce antibodies to PfMSP1(19) may protect against the high levels of malaria parasitaemia which are associated with clinical disease.

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