Differential cellular recognition of antigens during acute Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria

Ervi Salwati, Gabriela Minigo, Tonia Woodberry, Kim Piera, Harini De Silva, Enny Kenangalem, Emiliana Tjitra, Ross Coppel, Ric Price, Nicholas Anstey, Magdalena Plebanski

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax are co-endemic in the Asia-Pacific region. Their capacity to induce and sustain diverse T-cell responses underpins protective immunity. We compared T-cell responses to the largely conserved merozoite surface protein-5 (PfMSP5) during acute and convalescent falciparum and vivax malaria. Methods. Lymphoproliferation and IFN--gamma secretion to PfMSP5 and purified protein derivate were quantified in adults with falciparum (n = 34), and vivax malaria (n = 12) or asymptomatic residents (n = 10) of Papua, Indonesia. Responses were reassessed 7-28 days following treatment. Results. The frequency of IFN-gamma responders to PfMSP5 was similar in acute falciparum (63 ) or vivax (67 ) malaria. However, significantly more IFN-gamma-secreting cells were detectable during vivax compared with falciparum infection. Purified protein derivative responses showed a similarly enhanced pattern. While rapidly lost in vivax patients, PfMSP5-specific responses in falciparum malaria remained to day 28. By contrast, frequency and magnitude of lymphoproliferation to PfMSP5 were similar for falciparum and vivax infections. Conclusion. Cellular PfMSP5-specific responses are most frequent during either acute falciparum or vivax malaria, indicating functional T-cell responses to conserved antigens. Both effector and central memory T-cell functions are increased. Greater IFN-gamma responses in acute P. vivax, suggest enhancement of pre-existing effector T-cells during acute vivax infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1192 - 1199
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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