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PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e28126. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0028126. Epub 2011 Nov 29.

Serologic markers in relation to parasite exposure history help to estimate transmission dynamics of Plasmodium vivax.

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Laboratory of Malaria Immunology, Immunology Frontier Research Center, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.


Plasmodium vivax infection has been gaining attention because of its re-emergence in several parts of the world. Southeastern Turkey is one of the places in which persistent focal malaria caused exclusively by P. vivax parasites occurs. Although control and elimination studies have been underway for many years, no detailed study has been conducted to understand the mechanisms underlying the ineffective control of malaria in this region. Here, for the first time, using serologic markers we try to extract as much information as possible in this region to get a glimpse of P. vivax transmission. We conducted a sero-immunological study, evaluating antibody responses of individuals living in Sanliurfa to four different P. vivax antigens; three blood-stage antigens (PvMSP1₁₉, PvAMA1-ecto, and PvSERA4) and one pre-erythrocytic stage antigen (PvCSP). The results suggest that a prior history of malaria infection and age can be determining factors for the levels and sustainability of naturally acquired antibodies. Significantly higher antibody responses to all the studied antigens were observed in blood smear-negative individuals with a prior history of malaria infection. Moreover, these individuals were significantly older than blood smear-negative individuals with no prior history of infection. These data from an area of sole P. vivax-endemic region may have important implications for the global malaria control/elimination programs and vaccine design.

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