High levels of serum antibodies to merozoite surface protein 2 of Plasmodium falciparum are associated with reduced risk of clinical malaria in coastal Kenya.
Polley SD., Conway DJ., Cavanagh DR., McBride JS., Lowe BS., Williams TN., Mwangi TW., Marsh K.
The merozoite surface protein (MSP) 2 is a vaccine candidate antigen of Plasmodium falciparum that is polymorphic in natural populations. In a prospective cohort study in two coastal populations of Kenya using recombinant proteins derived from the two major allelic types of MSP2, high serum levels of IgG to MSP2 were associated with protection from clinical malaria. This protection was independent of that associated with antibodies to another vaccine candidate antigen (AMA1) in these populations. However, low antibody levels to MSP2 appeared to be associated with increased susceptibility to malaria within people who were parasite negative at the time of serum collection. These data suggest that an MSP2 based vaccine should be designed to induce high level antibody responses against the different MSP2 types present globally in P. falciparum populations and that MSP2 could be combined with other P. falciparum antigens to form a multi-component malaria vaccine.