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J Infect Dis. 2012 May 1;205(9):1456-63. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jis220. Epub 2012 Mar 29.

Cross-species immunity following immunization with a circumsporozoite protein-based vaccine for malaria.

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Malaria Vaccine Branch, United States Military Malaria Research Program, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, USA.


Malaria continues to be a major public health concern, and there are concerted efforts to eliminate it. The quest for a vaccine remains a top priority, and vaccines based on the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) are among the lead candidates, with the RTS,S vaccine currently undergoing phase 3 testing in Africa. Previous studies have reported anti-CSP antibody-mediated enhancement of in vitro invasion of homologous sporozoites. This effect has been shown to be concentration dependent; high-level antibodies are inhibitory, whereas low-level antibodies lead to enhancement of invasion. Nondominant shared epitopes may lead to the generation of low titers of cross-reactive antibodies that may prove to be detrimental. We report cross-species recognition of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium berghei sporozoites by anti-Plasmodium vivax CSP serum samples. In addition, we report that vaccination of mice with VMP001, a P. vivax CSP vaccine candidate, reduces, not enhances, P. berghei infection in mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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