Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite var gene expression is modified by host antibodies: longitudinal evidence from controlled infections of Kenyan adults with varying natural exposure


BMC Infect Dis

BACKGROUND: The PfEMP1 family of Plasmodium falciparum antigens play a key role in pathogenesis of severe malaria through their insertion into the surface of parasite infected erythrocytes, and adhesion to host cells. Previous studies have suggested that parasites expressing PfEMP1 subclasses group A and DC8, associated with severe malaria, may have a growth advantage in immunologically naive individuals. However, this idea has not been tested in longitudinal studies. METHODS: Here we assessed expression of the var genes encoding PfEMP1, in parasites sampled from volunteers with varying prior exposure to malaria, following experimental infection by sporozoites (PfSPZ). Using qPCR, we tested for associations between the expression of various var subgroups in surviving parasite populations from each volunteer and 1) the levels of participants’ antibodies to infected erythrocytes before challenge infection and 2) the apparent in vivo parasite multiplication rate. RESULTS: We show that 1) expression of var genes encoding for group A and DC8-like PfEMP1 were associated with low levels of antibodies to infected erythrocytes (alphaIE) before challenge, and 2) expression of a DC8-like CIDRalpha1.1 domain was associated with higher apparent parasite multiplication rate in a manner that was independent of levels of prior antibodies to infected erythrocytes. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides insight into the role of antibodies to infected erythrocytes surface antigens in the development of naturally acquired immunity and may help explain why specific PfEMP1 variants may be associated with severe malaria. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Pan African Clinical Trial Registry: PACTR201211000433272 . Date of registration: 10th October 2012.

Abdi, A. I., Hodgson, S. H., Muthui, M. K., Kivisi, C. A., Kamuyu, G., Kimani, D., Hoffman, S. L., Juma, E., Ogutu, B., Draper, S. J., Osier, F., Bejon, P., Marsh, K., Bull, P. C.

Pages:585, Volume:17, Edition:8/25/2017, Date,Aug-23


Notes:Abdi, Abdirahman I|Hodgson, Susanne H|Muthui, Michelle K|Kivisi, Cheryl A|Kamuyu, Gathoni|Kimani, Domtila|Hoffman, Stephen L|Juma, Elizabeth|Ogutu, Bernhards|Draper, Simon J|Osier, Faith|Bejon, Philip|Marsh, Kevin|Bull, Peter C|eng|103956/Wellcome Trust/United Kingdom|097940/Wellcome Trust/United Kingdom|106917/Wellcome Trust/United Kingdom|084535/Wellcome Trust/United Kingdom|084538/Wellcome Trust/United Kingdom|R44 AI058375/AI/NIAID NIH HHS/|Randomized Controlled Trial|Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural|Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t|England|2017/08/25 06:00|BMC Infect Dis. 2017 Aug 23;17(1):585. doi: 10.1186/s12879-017-2686-0.

ISBN: 1471-2334 (Electronic)|1471-2334 (Linking) Permanent ID: PMC5569527 Accession Number: 28835215

Author Address: KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, CGMRC, P.O. Box 230-80108, Kilifi County, Kenya.|Pwani University, P. O. Box 195-80108, Kilifi, Kenya.|The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.|KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, CGMRC, P.O. Box 230-80108, Kilifi County, Kenya.|Pwani University, P. O. Box 195-80108, Kilifi, Kenya.|Sanaria Inc., Rockville, MD, USA.|Centre for Clinical Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya.|Centre for Research in Therapeutic Sciences, Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya.|Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, 17 Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, CB2 1QP, UK.