Antibody recognition of Plasmodium falciparum infected red blood cells by symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals in the Brazilian Amazon|
Fratus, Alessandra Sampaio Bassi; Cabral, Fernanda Janku; Fotoran, Wesley Luzetti; Medeiros, Márcia Melo; Carlos, Bianca Cechetto; Martha, Rosimeire dalla; de Silva, Luiz Hildebrando Pereira; Lopes, Stefanie Costa Pinto; Costa, Fabio Trindade Maranhão & Wunderlich, Gerhard
In the Amazon Region, there is a virtual absence of severe malaria and few fatal cases of naturally occurring Plasmodium falciparum infections; this presents an intriguing and underexplored area of research. In addition to the rapid access of infected persons to effective treatment, one cause of this phenomenon might be the recognition of cytoadherent variant proteins on the infected red blood cell (IRBC) surface, including the var gene encoded P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1. In order to establish a link between cytoadherence, IRBC surface antibody recognition and the presence or absence of malaria symptoms, we phenotype-selected four Amazonian P. falciparum isolates and the laboratory strain 3D7 for their cytoadherence to CD36 and ICAM1 expressed on CHO cells. We then mapped the dominantly expressed var transcripts and tested whether antibodies from symptomatic or asymptomatic infections showed a differential recognition of the IRBC surface. As controls, the 3D7 lineages expressing severe disease-associated phenotypes were used. We showed that there was no profound difference between the frequency and intensity of antibody recognition of the IRBC-exposed P. falciparum proteins in symptomatic vs. asymptomatic infections. The 3D7 lineages, which expressed severe malaria-associated phenotypes, were strongly recognised by most, but not all plasmas, meaning that the recognition of these phenotypes is frequent in asymptomatic carriers, but is not necessarily a prerequisite to staying free of symptoms.
Plasmodium falciparum; PfEMP1; variant proteins; cytoadherence