Protective Immunity in Mice Immunized With P. vivax MSP119-Based Formulations and Challenged With P. berghei Expressing Pv MSP119

Front Immunol. 2020 Feb 19:11:28. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.00028. eCollection 2020.


The lack of continuous in vitro cultures has been an obstacle delaying pre-clinical testing of Plasmodium vivax vaccine formulations based on known antigens. In this study, we generated a model to test available formulations based on the P. vivax MSP119 antigen. The Plasmodium berghei strains ANKA and NK65 were modified to express PvMSP119 instead of the endogenous PbMSP119. The hybrid parasites were used to challenge C57BL/6 or BALB/c mice immunized with PvMSP119-based vaccine formulations. The PvMSP119 was correctly expressed in the P. berghei hybrid mutant lines as confirmed by immunofluorescence using anti-PvMSP119 monoclonal antibodies and by Western blot. Replacement of the PbMSP119 by the PvMSP119 had no impact on asexual growth in vivo. High titers of specific antibodies to PvMSP119 were not sufficient to control initial parasitemia in the immunized mice, but late parasitemia control and a balanced inflammatory process protected these mice from dying, suggesting that an established immune response to PvMSP119 in this model can help immunity mounted later during infection.

Keywords: MSP119; Plasmodium berghei; Plasmodium vivax; mouse model; vaccines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Protozoan / immunology
  • Antigens, Protozoan / immunology*
  • Female
  • Immunogenicity, Vaccine*
  • Malaria Vaccines / immunology*
  • Malaria, Vivax / immunology*
  • Malaria, Vivax / parasitology
  • Merozoite Surface Protein 1 / immunology*
  • Merozoite Surface Protein 1 / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Parasitemia / immunology
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Plasmodium berghei / genetics
  • Plasmodium berghei / metabolism*
  • Plasmodium vivax / immunology*
  • Protozoan Proteins / immunology
  • Transfection
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vaccination


  • Antibodies, Protozoan
  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Malaria Vaccines
  • Merozoite Surface Protein 1
  • Protozoan Proteins