IgG antibodies play a role in malaria immunity, but whether and how IgM protects from malaria and the biology of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf)-specific IgM B cells is unclear. In a Mali cohort spanning infants to adults, we conducted longitudinal analyses of Pf- and influenza-specific B cells. We found that Pf-specific memory B cells (MBCs) are disproportionally IgM+ and only gradually shift to IgG+ with age, in contrast to influenza-specific MBCs that are predominantly IgG+ from infancy to adulthood. B cell receptor analysis showed Pf-specific IgM MBCs are somatically hypermutated at levels comparable to influenza-specific IgG B cells.
Developing a vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum malaria has been challenging, primarily due to high levels of antigen polymorphism and a complex parasite lifecycle. Immunization with the P. falciparum merozoite antigens PfMSRP5, PfSERA9, PfRAMA, PfCyRPA and PfRH5 has been shown to give rise to growth inhibitory and synergistic antisera. Therefore, these five merozoite proteins are considered to be promising candidates for a second-generation multivalent malaria vaccine. Nevertheless, little is known about IgG and IgM responses to these antigens in populations that are naturally exposed to P. falciparum. In this study, serum samples from clinically immune adults and malaria exposed children from Ghana were studied to compare levels of IgG and IgM specific for PfMSRP5, PfSERA9, PfRAMA, PfCyRPA and PfRH5.
Autoantibodies play an important role in the destruction of non-infected red blood cells (nRBCs) during malaria. However, the relationship between this clearance and ABO blood groups is yet to be fully enlightened, especially for Plasmodium vivax infections. Here we show that anti-RBC IgG and IgM are increased in anemic patients with acute vivax malaria.
HIV infection is associated with more frequent and severe episodes of malaria and may be the result of altered malaria-specific B cell responses. However, it is poorly understood how HIV and the associated lymphopenia and immune activation affect malaria-specific antibody responses.