Malian adults maintain serologic responses to virulent PfEMP1s amid seasonal patterns of fluctuation
AuthorVentimiglia, Noah T.
Stucke, Emily M.
Berry, Andrea A.
Lyke, Kirsten E.
Laurens, Matthew B.
Bailey, Jason A.
Koné, Abdoulaye K.
Doumbo, Ogobara K.
Plowe, Christopher V.
Thera, Mahamadou A.
Travassos, Mark A.
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AbstractPlasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein-1s (PfEMP1s), diverse malaria proteins expressed on the infected erythrocyte surface, play an important role in pathogenesis, mediating adhesion to host vascular endothelium. Antibodies to particular non-CD36-binding PfEMP1s are associated with protection against severe disease. We hypothesized that given lifelong P. falciparum exposure, Malian adults would have broad PfEMP1 serorecognition and high seroreactivity levels during follow-up, particularly to non-CD36-binding PfEMP1s such as those that attach to endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). Using a protein microarray, we determined serologic responses to 166 reference PfEMP1 fragments during a dry and subsequent malaria transmission season in Malian adults. Malian adult sera had PfEMP1 serologic responses throughout the year, with decreased reactivity to a small subset of PfEMP1 fragments during the dry season and increases in reactivity to a different subset of PfEMP1 fragments during the subsequent peak malaria transmission season, especially for intracellular PfEMP1 domains. For some individuals, PfEMP1 serologic responses increased after the dry season, suggesting antigenic switching during asymptomatic infection. Adults were more likely to experience variable serorecognition of CD36- binding PfEMP1s than non-CD36-binding PfEMP1s that bind EPCR or ICAM-1, which remained serorecognized throughout the year. Sustained seroreactivity to non-CD36-binding PfEMP1s throughout adulthood amid seasonal fluctuation patterns may reflect underlying protective severe malaria immunity and merits further investigation.
DescriptionThe article processing charges (APC) for this open access article were partially funded by the Health Sciences and Human Services Library's Open Access Publishing Fund for Early-Career Researchers.
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