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Front Immunol. 2019 Aug 9;10:1840. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01840. eCollection 2019.

Vaccine-Induced Carbohydrate-Specific Memory B Cells Reactivate During Rodent Malaria Infection.

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Division of Population Health and Immunity, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
Department of Medical Biology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia.


A long-standing challenge in malaria is the limited understanding of B cell immunity, previously hampered by lack of tools to phenotype rare antigen-specific cells. Our aim was to develop a method for identifying carbohydrate-specific B cells within lymphocyte populations and to determine whether a candidate vaccine generated functional memory B cells (MBCs) that reactivated upon challenge with Plasmodium (pRBCs). To this end, a new flow cytometric probe was validated and used to determine the kinetics of B cell activation against the candidate vaccine glycosylphosphatidylinositol conjugated to Keyhole Limpet Haemocyanin (GPI-KLH). Additionally, immunized C57BL/6 mice were rested (10 weeks) and challenged with pRBCs or GPI-KLH to assess memory B cell recall against foreign antigen. We found that GPI-specific B cells were detectable in GPI-KLH vaccinated mice, but not in Plasmodium-infected mice. Additionally, in previously vaccinated mice GPI-specific IgG1 MBCs were reactivated against both pRBCs and synthetic GPI-KLH, which resulted in increased serum levels of anti-GPI IgG in both challenge approaches. Collectively our findings contribute to the understanding of B cell immunity in malaria and have important clinical implications for inclusion of carbohydrate conjugates in malaria vaccines.


B cell immunity; glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI); malaria; memory failure; vaccines

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