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Cross-species immune recognition between plasmodium vivax duffy binding protein antibodies and the plasmodium falciparum surface antigen VAR2CSA

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Gnidehou, S., Mitran, C. J., Arango, E., Banman, S., Mena, A., Medawar, E., et al. (2019). Cross-species immune recognition between plasmodium vivax duffy binding protein antibodies and the plasmodium falciparum surface antigen VAR2CSA. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 219(1), 110-120. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiy467.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-BB57-A
Abstract
Background In pregnancy, Plasmodium falciparum parasites express the surface antigen VAR2CSA, which mediates adherence of red blood cells to chondroitin sulfate A (CSA) in the placenta. VAR2CSA antibodies are generally acquired during infection in pregnancy and are associated with protection from placental malaria. We observed previously that men and children in Colombia also had antibodies to VAR2CSA, but the origin of these antibodies was unknown. Here, we tested whether infection with Plasmodium vivax is an alternative mechanism of acquisition of VAR2CSA antibodies. Methods We analyzed sera from nonpregnant Colombians and Brazilians exposed to P. vivax and monoclonal antibodies raised against P. vivax Duffy binding protein (PvDBP). Cross-reactivity to VAR2CSA was characterized by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunofluorescence assay, and flow cytometry, and antibodies were tested for inhibition of parasite binding to CSA. Results Over 50% of individuals had antibodies that recognized VAR2CSA. Affinity-purified PvDBP human antibodies and a PvDBP monoclonal antibody recognized VAR2CSA, showing that PvDBP can give rise to cross-reactive antibodies. Importantly, the monoclonal antibody inhibited parasite binding to CSA, which is the primary in vitro correlate of protection from placental malaria. Conclusions These data suggest that PvDBP induces antibodies that functionally recognize VAR2CSA, revealing a novel mechanism of cross-species immune recognition to falciparum malaria.