Infection and immunity

CD4+ T cell response correlates with naturally acquired antibodies against Plasmodium vivax tryptophan-rich antigens.

PMID 25733522


Tryptophan-rich proteins play important biological functions for the Plasmodium parasite. Plasmodium vivax contains remarkably large numbers of such proteins belonging to the "Pv-fam-a" family that need to be characterized. Earlier, we reported the presence of memory T cells and naturally acquired antibodies against 15 of these proteins in P. vivax malaria-exposed individuals (M. Zeeshan, H. Bora, and Y. D. Sharma, J Infect Dis 207:175-185, 2013, Here, we sought to characterize and ascertain the cross talk between effector responses of T and B cells in malarial patients against all Pv-fam-a family proteins. Therefore, we expressed the remaining 21 of these proteins in Escherichia coli and studied the humoral and cellular immune responses based on the same parameters used in our previous study. Naturally acquired IgG antibodies were detected against all 21 antigens in P. vivax patient sera (37.7 to 94.4% seropositivity). These antigens were able to activate the lymphocytes of P. vivax-exposed individuals, and the activated CD4(+) T lymphocytes produced higher levels of Th1 (interleukin-2 [IL-2] and gamma interferon [IFN-γ]) and Th2 (IL-4 and IL-10) cytokines than the healthy controls, but the response was Th2 biased. The combined results of present and previous studies seem to suggest a striking link between induction of the CD4(+) T cell response and naturally acquired antibodies against all 36 proteins of the Pv-fam-a family, the majority of them having conserved sequences in the parasite population. Further work is required to utilize this information to develop immunotherapeutic treatments for this disease.