The prevalence and concentration of naturally acquired humoral response (IgG) to merozoite surface protein 2 (MSP2), RESA, SPf66 and crude schizont extract were measured in a population living in a malaria highly endemic area of Papua New Guinea. A prospective longitudinal study in 0.5-15 year old children was conducted for one year in order to examine the relationship between the humoral response to these antigens and subsequent susceptibility to clinical malaria using a series of clinical definitions. The prevalence and concentration of antibodies to all antigens increased with age. Such correlation with age was most marked for MSP2 recombinant proteins. When age and previous exposure were controlled for, only antibody levels to MSP2 recombinant proteins (3D7 and d3D7) and to RESA predicted a reduction in incidence rate of episodes of clinical malaria. Our results support the inclusion of the recombinant proteins of the 3D7 allelic family of merozoite surface antigen 2 and RESA into a subunit vaccine against malaria.