Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) in malaria is directed against cathepsin G

Clin Exp Immunol. 1997 Oct;110(1):41-4. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2249.1997.4981395.x.


Autoantibodies of diverse specificities are detected in sera of patients with acute malaria. The clinical relevance of these autoantibodies is not clear, though there are reports associating some autoantibodies with specific disease manifestations. We have investigated the occurrence of ANCA in the sera of 93 patients during episodes of acute malaria. Sera were tested by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) and by ELISA for antibodies to neutrophil cytoplasmic components proteinase 3 (PR3), myeloperoxidase (MPO), cathepsin G (CG), human leucocyte elastase (HLE), and lactoferrin (LF). Forty-seven sera samples (50.5%) were positive by IIF, all except one with the atypical ANCA pattern (a-ANCA). When screened by ELISA, anti-CG antibodies were detected in 52 samples (56%), while anti-PR3 and anti-MPO antibodies were detected in three and one samples, respectively. Antibody binding to HLE and LF was not significant. Anti-CG antibodies were detected in 93% of the IIF-positive sera. A combination of anti-CG and anti-PR3 antibodies was noted in three samples. Our study demonstrates the presence of ANCA in sera from patients with acute malaria, almost all with the a-ANCA pattern on IIF. The antibody specificity, noted for the first time in our study, appears to be predominantly directed against CG. The significance of CG and CG-ANCA in the pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of malaria has yet to be elucidated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic / immunology*
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Cathepsin G
  • Cathepsins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Malaria / immunology*
  • Serine Endopeptidases


  • Antibodies, Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic
  • Autoantibodies
  • Cathepsins
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • CTSG protein, human
  • Cathepsin G