Plasmodium vivax Duffy binding protein: baseline antibody responses and parasite polymorphisms in a well‐consolidated settlement of the Amazon Region
Objective To investigate risk factors associated with the acquisition of antibodies against Plasmodium vivax Duffy binding protein (PvDBP) – a leading malaria vaccine candidate – in a well‐consolidated agricultural settlement of the Brazilian Amazon Region and to determine the sequence diversity of the PvDBP ligand domain (DBPII) within the local malaria parasite population.
Methods Demographic, epidemiological and clinical data were collected from 541 volunteers using a structured questionnaire. Malaria parasites were detected by conventional microscopy and PCR, and blood collection was used for antibody assays and molecular characterisation of DBPII.
Results The frequency of malaria infection was 7% (6% for P. vivax and 1% for P. falciparum), with malaria cases clustered near mosquito breeding sites. Nearly 50% of settlers had anti‐PvDBP IgG antibodies, as detected by enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with subject’s age being the only strong predictor of seropositivity to PvDBP. Unexpectedly, low levels of DBPII diversity were found within the local malaria parasites, suggesting the existence of low gene flow between P. vivax populations, probably due to the relative isolation of the studied settlement.
Conclusion The recognition of PvDBP by a significant proportion of the community, associated with low levels of DBPII diversity among local P. vivax, reinforces the variety of malaria transmission patterns in communities from frontier settlements. Such studies should provide baseline information for antimalarial vaccines now in development.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Laboratório de Malária, Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou/Fiocruz, Belo Horizonte-MG, Brazil 2: Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso, Cuiabá-MT, Brazil 3: Instituto Leônidas e Maria Deane/Fiocruz, Manaus-AM, Brazil 4: Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo-SP, Brazil
Publication date: August 1, 2012