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Natural immune response to Plasmodium vivax alpha-helical coiled coil protein motifs and its association with the risk of P. vivax malaria.

  • Céspedes, Nora1, 2
  • Li Wai Suen, Connie S N3, 4
  • Koepfli, Cristian3, 4
  • França, Camila T3, 4
  • Felger, Ingrid5
  • Nebie, Issa6
  • Arévalo-Herrera, Myriam1, 2
  • Mueller, Ivo3, 4, 7, 8
  • Corradin, Giampietro9
  • Herrera, Sócrates1, 10
  • 1 Malaria Vaccine and Drug Development Center (MVDC), Cali, Colombia. , (Colombia)
  • 2 School of Health, University of Valle, Cali, Colombia. , (Colombia)
  • 3 Population Health & Immunity Division, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Parkville, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 4 Department of Medical Biology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. , (Australia)
  • 5 Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
  • 6 Centre National de Recherche et de Formation sur le Paludisme, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. , (Burkina Faso)
  • 7 Malaria: Parasites and Hosts Unit, Department of Parasites & Insect Vectors, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France. , (France)
  • 8 Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGLOBAL), Barcelona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 9 Biochemistry Department, University of Lausanne, Epalinges, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
  • 10 Caucaseco Scientific Research Center, Cali, Colombia. , (Colombia)
Published Article
Public Library of Science
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2017
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179863
PMID: 28651021


Protein α-helical coiled coil structures are known to induce antibodies able to block critical functions in different pathogens. In a previous study, a total of 50 proteins of Plasmodium vivax erythrocytic asexual stages containing α-helical coiled coil structural motifs were identified in silico, and the corresponding peptides were chemically synthesized. A total of 43 peptides were recognized by naturally acquired antibodies in plasma samples from both Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Colombian adult donors. In this study, the association between IgG antibodies to these peptides and clinical immunity was further explored by measuring total IgG antibody levels to 24 peptides in baseline samples from a longitudinal study of children aged 1-3 years (n = 164) followed for 16 months. Samples were reactive to all peptides tested. Eight peptides were recognized by >50% of individuals, whereas only one peptide had < 20% reactivity. Children infected at baseline were seropositive to 23/24 peptides. No significant association was observed between antibody titers and age or molecular force of infection, suggesting that antibody levels had already reached an equilibrium. There was a strong association between antibody levels to all peptides and protection against P. vivax clinical episodes during the 16 months follow-up. These results suggest that the selected coiled coil antigens might be good markers of both exposure and acquired immunity to P. vivax malaria, and further preclinical investigation should be performed to determine their potential as P. vivax vaccine antigens.

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