The ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen (RESA) is a dense-granule protein of
Plasmodium falciparumwhich binds to the cytoskeletal structure of the erythrocyte after parasite invasion. It is currently under trial as a vaccine candidate. In an effort to characterize further the antibody responses to this antigen, we have panned two independent libraries of random peptides expressed on the surface of filamentous phage with a monoclonal antibody (MAb 18/2) against RESA. One library consisted of a potentially constrained 17-mer peptide fused with the gpVIII phage coat protein, and the other displayed an unconstrained 15-mer as a fusion with the minor phage coat protein gpIII. Several rounds of biopanning resulted in enrichment from both libraries clones that interacted specifically with MAb 18/2 in protein-blotting and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay experiments. Nucleotide sequencing of the random oligonucleotide insert revealed a common predominant motif: (S/T)AVDD. Several other clones had related but degenerate motifs. Thus, a monoclonal antibody against a malarial antigen can select common mimotopes from different random peptide libraries. We envisage many uses for this technology in malaria research.