Antibody responses for two lead P. vivax vaccine candidates in India

16 Dec 2019
Kale S, Yadav CP, Rao PN, Shalini S, Eapen A, Srivasatava HC, Sharma SK, Pande V, Carlton JM, Singh OP, Mallick PK


Identifying highly immunogenic blood stage antigens which can work as target for naturally acquired antibodies in different eco-epidemiological settings is an important step for designing malaria vaccine. Blood stage proteins of Plasmodium vivax, apical membrane antigen-1 (PvAMA-1) and 19 kDa fragment of merozoite surface protein (PvMSP-1) are such promising vaccine candidate antigens. This study determined the naturally-acquired antibody response to PvAMA-1 and PvMSP-1 antigens in individuals living in three geographically diverse malaria endemic regions of India.


A total of 234 blood samples were collected from individuals living in three different eco-epidemiological settings, Chennai, Nadiad, and Rourkela of India. Indirect ELISA was performed to measure human IgG antibodies against recombinant PvAMA-1 and PvMSP-1 antigens. The difference in seroprevalence and factors associated with antibody responses at each site was statistically analysed.


The overall seroprevalence was 40.6% for PvAMA-1 and 62.4% for PvMSP-1. Seroprevalence to PvAMA-1 was higher in Chennai (47%) followed by Nadiad (46.7%) and Rourkela (27.6%). For PvMSP-1, seroprevalence was higher in Chennai (80.3%) as compared to Nadiad (53.3%) and Rourkela (57.9%). Seroprevalence for both the antigens were found to be higher in Chennai where P. vivax is the dominant malaria species. In addition, heterogeneous antibody response was observed for PvAMA-1 and PvMSP-1 antigens at each of the study sites. Two factors, age and malaria positivity were significantly associated with seropositivity for both the antigens PvAMA-1 and PvMSP-1.


These data suggest that natural acquired antibody response is higher for PvMSP-1 antigen as compared to PvAMA-1 antigen in individuals living in three geographically diverse malaria endemic regions in India. PvMSP-1 appears to be highly immunogenic in Indian population and has great potential as a malaria vaccine candidate. The differences in immune response against vaccine candidate antigens in different endemic settings should be taken into account for development of asexual stage based P. vivax malaria vaccine, which in turn can enhance malaria control efforts.