Author(s): Lal AA, Hughes MA, Oliveira DA, Nelson C, Bloland PB,
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Abstract AMA-1 of Plasmodium falciparum is a promising candidate antigen in malaria vaccine development. In this study, we have mapped the immunodominant T-cell determinants in this antigen by using synthetic peptides. From the amphipathic scores, 17 putative T-cell determinants were identified. Nine of the 17 peptides complementary to the putative T-cell determinants induced proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from Kenyan residents who had lifelong exposure to malaria; none of these peptides induced proliferation of PBMC from donors who were not previously exposed to malaria. This indicates that AMA-1 peptides were stimulating T cells that were previously primed by prior exposure to P. falciparum. Many positive responders showed reactivity to more than one peptide, and some of the potent proliferative T epitopes were found to be localized in the highly conserved regions of AMA-1, suggesting that it may be possible to induce T-cell memory that can recognize different variant forms of the parasite. This information on the natural immune responses against the AMA-1 vaccine antigen in clinically immune adults will be helpful in the development of an AMA-1 antigen-based malaria vaccine and may also guide testing of AMA-1-based vaccine formulations.
This article was published in Infect Immun
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals