Different Regions of Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte-Binding Antigen 175 Induce Antibody Responses to Infection of Varied Efficacy

J Infect Dis. 2016 Jul 1;214(1):96-104. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiw119. Epub 2016 Mar 28.


Background: Increasing evidence suggests that antibodies against merozoite proteins involved in Plasmodium falciparum invasion into the red blood cell play an important role in clinical immunity to malaria. Erythrocyte-binding antigen 175 (EBA-175) is the best-characterized P. falciparum invasion ligand, reported to recognize glycophorin A on the surface of erythrocytes. Its protein structure comprises 6 extracellular regions. Whereas region II contains Duffy binding-like domains involved in the binding to glycophorin A, the functional role of regions III-V is less clear.

Methods: We developed a novel cytometric bead array for assessment of antigen-specific antibody concentration in plasma to evaluate the efficacy of immune responses to different regions of EBA-175 and associations between antibody levels with protection from symptomatic malaria in a treatment-reinfection cohort study.

Results: We found that while antibodies to region II are highly abundant, circulating levels as low as 5-10 µg/mL of antibodies specific for region III or the highly conserved regions IV-V predict strong protection from clinical malaria.

Conclusions: These results lend support for the development of conserved regions of EBA-175 as components in a combination of a malaria vaccine.

Keywords: Plasmodium falciparum; antibodies; erythrocyte-binding antigen 175; immunity; malaria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / immunology
  • Antibody Formation*
  • Antigens, Protozoan / immunology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Erythrocytes / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Falciparum / immunology*
  • Male
  • Merozoites / immunology*
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Plasmodium falciparum / immunology*
  • Protein Binding*


  • Antigens, Protozoan