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Plasmodium falciparum The immune response in rabbits to the clustered asparagine-rich protein after immunization in Freunds adjuvant or immunostimulating complexes


, : Plasmodium falciparum The immune response in rabbits to the clustered asparagine-rich protein after immunization in Freunds adjuvant or immunostimulating complexes. Experimental Parasitology 76(2): 134-145

The Plasmodium falciparum clustered asparagine-rich protein (CARP) is a merozoite-associated antigen which contains approximately 30% asparagine. Analysis of the DNA sequences located 5' of the cloned 1.4-kb CARP gene in the P. falciparum genome suggests that this gene fragment may encode the complete CARP and that the gene product is a protein of M-r 50,000. To analyze the immunogenicity of CARP, the gene was expressed as a fusion protein with staphylococcal protein A (SpA-CARP). Immunization of rabbits with SpA-CARP in Freund's complete adjuvant (FCA) resulted in a strong antibody response against CARP as measured in ELISA. This response was efficiently boosted and sustained over a long time while that induced by two immunizations with SpA-CARP in ISCOMs was weak and of shorter duration. In both instances, the antibody levels against CARP were further increased by a second booster injection consisting of either SpA-CARP or CARP fused to the serum albumin-binding region (BB) of streptococcal protein G (BB-CARP) in PBS, indicating that immunizations with SpA-CARP in FCA or ISCOMs had induced a CARP-specific immunological memory. Boosting with BB-CARP in PBS was more efficient than boosting with SpA-CARP in PBS. In all rabbits, the antibodies obtained after the booster with CARP in PBS were the most efficient inhibitors of merozoite invasion in vitro. The antisera reacted with the intracellular parasite in immunofluorescence and with a band of M-r 50,000 in immunoblotting while several high-molecular-weight components as well as the one of M-r 50,000 were immunoprecipitated. The specificity of the antibody responses varied between the different rabbits as indicated in ELISA, with short synthetic peptides representing different CARP sequences. Taken together, the results suggest that a previously cloned genomic DNA fragment may encode the complete P. falciparum blood-stage antigen CARP and that CARP is immunogenic in rabbits both when administered in FCA or ISCOMs.

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