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Scand J Immunol. 2008 Feb;67(2):177-84. Epub 2007 Dec 12.

Naturally acquired immunity and reduced susceptibility to falciparum malaria in two subpopulations of endemic eastern India.

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National Institute of Malaria Research (Indian Council of Medical Research), 22 Sham Nath Marg, Delhi, India.


This study was aimed to assess the prevalence of naturally acquired humoral immune responses and their association with reduced susceptibility to malaria in children and adults with differential clinical conditions from an Indian zone where malaria is endemic. The study was undertaken in an eastern province of India (Keonjhar, Orissa) in a group of 341 children (both younger and older) and 98 adults living in two different areas, Town area and Forest area. They were studied for their parasitological and immunological profiles. Sera from different age-matched groups were screened by ELISA to measure IgG reactivities for characterizing humoral immune responses to the B-cell epitopes of Plasmodium falciparum MSP1, AMA1, RAP1 and EBA175 peptides and P. falciparum-infected erythrocyte lysate. In Town area, overall P. falciparum cases were 5.5%, whereas those in Forest area were 26.7%. We observed an age-wise increasing trend of immunity in these two populations. It was also noticed that the frequency of responders to stage-specific antigens was higher in individuals from the Town area where the frequency of malaria was lower. The naturally acquired humoral immune responses to different stage-specific antigens of P. falciparum reflect the reduced risk of malaria in the study groups. The higher frequency of seroresponders showed correlation with lower risk of developing malaria.

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