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Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 5;6:34363. doi: 10.1038/srep34363.

Antibody titres and boosting after natural malaria infection in BK-SE36 vaccine responders during a follow-up study in Uganda.

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Department of Molecular Protozoology, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, 3-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871 Japan.
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Osaka City University, Osaka 545-8585, Japan.
Sumida Hospital, Medical Co. Living Together Association (LTA) Clinical Pharmacology Center, Tokyo 130-0021 Japan.
Med Biotech Laboratories, Plot 4-6 Bell Close, Port Bell Road Luzira, Kampala, Uganda.
Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda.
The Research Foundation for Microbial Diseases of Osaka University, 2-9-41 Yahata-cho, Kanonji, Kagawa 768-0061 Japan.


The malaria vaccine BK-SE36 is a recombinant protein (SE36) based on the Honduras 1 serine repeat antigen-5 of Plasmodium falciparum, adsorbed to aluminium hydroxide gel. The phase Ib trial in Uganda demonstrated the safety and immunogenicity of BK-SE36. Ancillary analysis in the follow-up study of 6-20 year-old volunteers suggest significant differences in time to first episodes of clinical malaria in vaccinees compared to placebo/control group. Here, we aimed to get further insights into the association of anti-SE36 antibody titres and natural P. falciparum infection. Children who received BK-SE36 and whose antibody titres against SE36 increased by ≥1.92-fold after vaccination were categorised as responders. Most responders did not have or only had a single episode of natural P. falciparum infection. Notably, responders who did not experience infection had relatively high anti-SE36 antibody titres post-second vaccination compared to those who were infected. The anti-SE36 antibody titres of the responders who experienced malaria were boosted after infection and they had lower risk of reinfection. These findings show that anti-SE36 antibody titres induced by BK-SE36 vaccination offered protection against malaria. The vaccine is now being evaluated in a phase Ib trial in children less than 5 years old.

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