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Parasite Immunol. 1992 Jul;14(4):385-96.

Transmission blocking immunity to human Plasmodium vivax malaria in an endemic population in Kataragama, Sri Lanka.

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Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.


Serum effects on gametocyte infectivity, that is, transmission blocking/enhancing immunity, were measured in the sera of 196 acute Plasmodium vivax patients who were residents of a malaria region in Kataragama, southern Sri Lanka. Direct mosquito feedings were also performed on 170 of these patients. Sera of about 48% of patients suppressed gametocyte infectivity significantly (by more than 75%) and of a smaller proportion (12%) had pronounced infectivity enhancing effects. Transmission immunity did not increase with age of patients, rather, immunity tended to be higher in younger patients. Data suggest that immunity levels are boosted by reinfections only if they occur within a period of 4 months from the previous infection, i.e., that immune memory for boosting does not last beyond 4 months. Enhancing effects in the sera of patients correlated with the absence of gametocytes at the time of investigation suggesting that enhancement occurs early during the course of a blood infection, and blocking later, when serum antibodies reach higher levels. The blocking and enhancing effects of serum appears to depend not only on the antibody concentration in serum, but also on the intrinsic infectivity of the parasite isolate against which it is tested: thus, infectivity enhancing effects were potentiated by low intrinsic infectivities of the parasite isolate. The direct infectivity of patients to mosquitoes correlated with transmission immunity indicating that transmission immunity is an influential factor determining infectivity of malaria patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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