Immunoglobulin G (IgG) responses to Plasmodium falciparum glycosylphosphatidylinositols are short-lived and predominantly of the IgG3 subclass

J Infect Dis. 2003 Mar 1;187(5):862-5. doi: 10.1086/367897. Epub 2003 Feb 24.


The induction of neutralizing immunity to Plasmodium falciparum toxins by vaccination has been proposed as a preventive strategy to limit the severity of malaria. For this approach to be successful, generation of a sustained immune response would be necessary. This study shows that immunoglobulin G (IgG)-subclass responses elicited by the proposed P. falciparum toxin glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) in Papua New Guinean subjects 5-60 years old predominantly involve IgG(3), with a lesser contribution from IgG(1) and an absence of IgG(2) and IgG(4). IgG(3) levels declined sharply within 6 weeks of pharmacological clearance of parasitemia in all subjects, whereas a significant decrease in IgG(1) levels was seen only in subjects < or =19 years old. Because the natural antibody response to P. falciparum GPIs is skewed toward the short-lived IgG(3) subclass, a vaccination strategy with GPI analogues would likely require augmentation by costimulatory molecules, to induce a more persistent anti-GPI response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / blood
  • Antigens, Protozoan / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Glycosylphosphatidylinositols / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin G / classification
  • Malaria, Falciparum / immunology
  • Malaria, Falciparum / prevention & control
  • Middle Aged
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Plasmodium falciparum / immunology*
  • Protozoan Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Protozoan Vaccines / immunology


  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Glycosylphosphatidylinositols
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Protozoan Vaccines