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Vaccine. 2009 Dec 11;28(2):452-62. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.10.022. Epub 2009 Oct 24.

Evaluation of the safety and immunogenicity of Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1, merozoite surface protein 1 or RTS,S vaccines with adjuvant system AS02A administered alone or concurrently in rhesus monkeys.

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Department of Immunology and Medicine, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand.


In an effort to broaden the immune response induced by the RTS,S/AS02(A),vaccine, we have evaluated the immunogenicity of the RTS,S antigen when combined with MSP1(42) and with AMA1, antigens derived from the asexual blood stage. The objectives of this study were (i) to determine whether MSP1(42) and AMA1 vaccines formulated with the AS02(A) Adjuvant System were safe and immunogenic in the rhesus monkey model; (ii) to investigate whether MSP1(42) or AMA1 induced immune interference to each other, or to RTS,S, when added singly or in combinations at a single injection site; (iii) in the event of immune interference, to determine if this could be reduced when antigens were administered at separate sites. We found that MSP1(42) and AMA1 were safe and immunogenic, eliciting antibodies, and Th1 and Th2 responses using IFN-gamma and IL-5 as markers. When malaria antigens were delivered together in one formulation, MSP1(42) and RTS,S reduced AMA1-specific antibody responses as measured by ELISA however, only MSP1(42) lowered parasite growth inhibitory activity of anti-AMA1 antibodies as measured by in vitro growth inhibition assay. Unlike RTS,S, MSP1(42) significantly reduced AMA1 IFN-gamma and IL-5 responses. MSP1(42) suppression of AMA1 IFN-gamma responses was not seen in animals receiving RTS,S+AMA1+MSP1(42) suggesting that RTS,S restored IFN-gamma responses. Conversely, AMA1 had no effect on MSP1(42) antibody and IFN-gamma and IL-5 responses. Neither AMA1 alone or combined with MSP1(42) affected RTS,S antibody or IFN-gamma and IL-5 responses. Immune interference by MSP1(42) on AMA1 antibody responses was also evident when AMA1, MSP1(42) and RTS,S were administered concurrently at separate sites. These results suggest that immune interference may be complex and should be considered for the design of multi-antigen, multi-stage vaccines against malaria.

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