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Immunogenicity analysis of genetically conserved segments in Plasmodium ovale merozoite surface protein-8

Zhang, Xinxin, Chu, Ruilin, Xu, Sui, Fu, Haitian, Tang, Jianxia, Chen, Limei, Shi, Xiaodan, Chen, Jing, Li, Yuhong, Zhu, Guoding, Han, Eun-Taek, Xuan, Yinghua, Cao, Jun, Cheng, Yang
Parasites & vectors 2019 v.12 no.1 pp. 164
DNA, Plasmodium ovale, antibodies, blood sampling, cross reaction, genes, genetic variation, immunization, immunoblotting, immunogenicity, malaria, merozoites, mice, migrant workers, patients, protein synthesis, proteins, tropics, vaccines, worker honey bees, Africa, China
BACKGROUND: Plasmodium ovale is widely distributed across tropical regions and has two closely related but distinct species, namely P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri. Combining genetic characterization with the immunogenicity of merozoite surface protein-8 (MSP-8) supports considering MSP-8 as a candidate target for blood-stage vaccines against malaria. However, no previous studies have focused on characterizing the genetic diversity and immunogenicity of PoMSP-8. METHODS: Blood samples were collected from 42 patients infected with P. ovale. The patients were migrant workers returning to the Jiangsu Province from Africa; genomic DNA was extracted from their blood samples for sequencing and protein expression. The recombinant PoMSP-8 (rPoMSP-8) proteins were expressed and purified to assess their immune responses in BALB/c mice. RESULTS: The sequences of the P. ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri msp8 genes were completely conserved in each isolate. The rPoMSP-8 proteins were successfully expressed and purified as ~70 kDa proteins. Antibodies raised against rPoMSP-8 in mice showed appropriate immunoreactivity, as evidenced by immunoblotting. These specific antibodies were detected at day 7 post-immunization, and their levels increased throughout the whole immunization period. rPoMSP-8-raised antibodies had high endpoint titers (1:5,120,000) and high avidity (PocMSP-8: 94.84%, PowMSP-8: 92.69%). Cross-reactivity between rPocMSP-8 and rPowMSP-8 was observed with each anti-PoMSP8-specific antibody. CONCLUSIONS: Remarkable conservation and high immunogenicity was observed in both rPoMSP-8s. Intriguingly, cross-reaction between rPocMSP-8 and rPowMSP-8 was detected, suggesting that a single PoMSP8-based construction might be applicable for both species.