Investigation of cross-reactive antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (360G-Wellcome-099811_Z_12_Z)
The main objectives of the proposed project are twofold; firstly, to identify monoclonal antibodies that broadly react against variant surface antigens on erythrocytes parasitized by diverse Plasmodium falciparum strains, and secondly, to identify the conserved epitopes of the surface antigens that are recognized by these antibodies. Although antibodies against variant surface antigens have been linked to protection against malaria, the prevailing viewpoint is that antibodies against these antigens generated in the course ofinfection are predominantly variant-specific. However, there has been evidencesuggesting some partial cross-reactivity of antibodies, and our preliminary work supports the possibility that broadly cross-reactive antibodies may existin adults who are clinically immune to malaria. This project aims to identify such antibodies by screening large numbers of sera from immune adults against diverse parasite strains. When cross-reactive sera are identified, we will request for blood samples from the individual donors and isolate and transformB cells producing monoclonal antibodies of interest. We will then proceed to identify the corresponding conserved target sites on the antigens, which will be potential targets for vaccine development.
£159,340 25 Jun 2012