Target antigens in malaria transmission blocking immunity.

R. Carter, L. H. Miller, J. Rener, D. C. Kaushal, N. Kumar, P. M. Graves, C. A. Grotendorst, R. W. Gwadz, C. French, D. Wirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Malaria transmission blocking immunity has been found to operate against two distinct phases of development of malaria parasites in the mosquito midgut: (i) against the extracellular gametes and newly fertilized zygotes shortly after ingestion by a mosquito of parasitized blood and (ii) against the zygotes during their subsequent development into ookinetes. Immunity is antibody-mediated and stage-specific. A set of three proteins, synthesized in the gametocytes, expressed on the surface of the gametes and newly fertilized zygotes and subsequently shed during later transformation of the zygotes, has been identified as the target antigens of anti-gamete fertilization blocking antibodies. A single protein, synthesized and expressed on the zygote surface during its development to ookinetes, has been identified as the target of antibodies which block the development of the fertilized parasites in the mosquito. Immunization of human populations against gamete or zygote antigens, while not directly protecting an immunized individual from inflection, would reduce the transfer of malaria within the population. Such immunity, in addition to reducing the overall rate of malaria transmission, would, if combined with a vaccine against the asexual (disease-causing) stages, reduce the chance of selection of parasites that are resistant to the asexual vaccine by preventing their entry into the mosquito population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-213
Number of pages13
JournalPhilosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
Issue number1131
StatePublished - Nov 13 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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