Sporozoite-based approaches currently represent the most effective vaccine strategies for induction of sterile protection against Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) malaria. Clinical development of subunit vaccines is almost exclusively centered on the circum-sporozoite protein (CSP), an abundantly expressed protein on the sporozoite membrane. Anti-CSP antibodies are able to block sporozoite invasion and development in human hepatocytes and subsequently prevent clinical malaria. Here, we have investigated whether sporozoite-induced human antibodies with specificities different from CSP can reduce Pf-liver stage development. IgG preparations were obtained from 12 volunteers inoculated with a protective immunization regime of whole sporozoites under chloroquine prophylaxis. These IgGs were depleted for CSP specificity by affinity chromatography. Recovered non-CSP antibodies were tested for sporozoite membrane binding and for functional inhibition of sporozoite invasion of a human hepatoma cell line and hepatocytes both in vitro and in vivo. Postimmunization IgGs depleted for CS specificity of 9 of 12 donors recognized sporozoite surface antigens. Samples from 5 of 12 donors functionally reduced parasite-liver cell invasion or development using the hepatoma cell line HC-04 and FRG-huHep mice containing human liver cells. The combined data provide clear evidence that non-CSP proteins, as yet undefined, do represent antibody targets for functional immunity against Pf parasites responsible for malaria.
Amanda Fabra-García, Annie S.P. Yang, Marije C. Behet, Zen Yap, Youri van Waardenburg, Swarnendu Kaviraj, Kjerstin Lanke, Geert-Jan van Gemert, Matthijs M. Jore, Teun Bousema, Robert W. Sauerwein