New insights into acquisition, boosting, and longevity of immunity to malaria in pregnant women

Freya Ji Fowkes, Rose McGready, Nadia J. Cross, Mirja Hommel, Julie A. Simpson, Salenna R. Elliott, Jack S. Richards, Kurt Lackovic, Jacher Viladpai-Nguen, David Narum, Takafumi Tsuboi, Robin F. Anders, François Nosten, James G. Beeson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. How antimalarial antibodies are acquired and maintained during pregnancy and boosted after reinfection with Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax is unknown.Methods.A nested case-control study of 467 pregnant women (136 Plasmodium-infected cases and 331 uninfected control subjects) in northwestern Thailand was conducted. Antibody levels to P. falciparum and P. vivax merozoite antigens and the pregnancy-specific PfVAR2CSA antigen were determined at enrollment (median 10 weeks gestation) and throughout pregnancy until delivery.Results.Antibodies to P. falciparum and P. vivax were highly variable over time, and maintenance of high levels of antimalarial antibodies involved highly dynamic responses resulting from intermittent exposure to infection. There was evidence of boosting with each successive infection for P. falciparum responses, suggesting the presence of immunological memory. However, the half-lives of Plasmodium antibody responses were relatively short, compared with measles (457 years), and much shorter for merozoite responses (0.8-7.6 years), compared with PfVAR2CSA responses (36-157 years). The longer half-life of antibodies to PfVAR2CSA suggests that antibodies acquired in one pregnancy may be maintained to protect subsequent pregnancies.Conclusions.These findings may have important practical implications for predicting the duration of vaccine-induced responses by candidate antigens and supports the development of malaria vaccines to protect pregnant women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1612-1621
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume206
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Fowkes, F. J., McGready, R., Cross, N. J., Hommel, M., Simpson, J. A., Elliott, S. R., ... Beeson, J. G. (2012). New insights into acquisition, boosting, and longevity of immunity to malaria in pregnant women. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 206(10), 1612-1621. https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jis566