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Front Microbiol. 2014 Nov 18;5:625. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00625. eCollection 2014.

Antibody and B cell responses to Plasmodium sporozoites.

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Department of Pathogens and Immunity, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University Canberra, ACT, Australia.
Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Washington Seattle, WA, USA.


Antibodies are capable of blocking infection of the liver by Plasmodium sporozoites. Accordingly the induction of anti-sporozoite antibodies is a major aim of various vaccine approaches to malaria. In recent years our knowledge of the specificity and quantities of antibodies required for protection has been greatly expanded by clinical trials of various whole sporozoite and subunit vaccines. Moreover, the development of humanized mouse models and transgenic parasites have also aided our ability to assess the specificity of antibodies and their ability to block infection. Nonetheless, considerable gaps remain in our knowledge - in particular in understanding what antigens are recognized by infection blocking antibodies and in knowing how we can induce robust, long-lived antibody responses. Maintaining high levels of circulating antibodies is likely to be of primary importance, as antibodies must block infection in the short time it takes for sporozoites to reach the liver from the skin. It is clear that a better understanding of the development of protective B cell-mediated immunity will aid the development and refinement of malaria vaccines.


B cells; Plasmodium; antibodies; malaria; pre-erythrocytic stages; sporozoites

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