Cellular immunity to merozoite surface protein 2 (FC27 and 3D7) in Papua New Guinean children. Temporal variation and relation to clinical and parasitological status Academic Article uri icon


  • A prospective study in 207 children aged 0.5-15 years was carried out in a highly endemic area of Papua New Guinea to examine the relationship between cellular responses to Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 2 (MSP2) and malaria infection and morbidity. In vitro proliferation, IFN-gamma and IL-4 induction were measured against two recombinant proteins of MSP2, FC27 and 3D7 as well as against a form of the 3D7 MSP2 lacking the central repetitive sequences (d3D7). The prevalence of proliferative response was generally low, 6% for FC27, 9% for 3D7 and 11% for d3D7. A higher prevalence of IL-4 response was obtained being 27% for FC27, 34% for 3D7 and 30% for d3D7 while the prevalence of IFN-gamma response was 13%, 15% and 18%, respectively. There was no correlation between age and proliferative responses; in contrast cytokine production increased with age for all three antigens. When proliferation or stimulation of either cytokine was used to assess T-cell activation the frequency of responders increased to 39%, 47% and 46% for FC27, 3D7 and d3D7 respectively. Analysis of the relation of T cell responses to concurrent infection and morbidity showed that lymphoproliferative response only to d3D7 was significantly associated with parasitaemia; while lymphoproliferative responses to all 3 MSP2 antigens were highest in the group of clinical malaria cases. There was no significant correlation between proliferation or cytokine production to MSP2 and concurrent or subsequent malaria morbidity.



publication date

  • May 1997

has subject area