Antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum antigens vary by age and antigen in children in a malaria-holoendemic area of Kenya

Kiprotich Chelimo, Ayub V. Ofulla, David L. Narum, James W. Kazura, David E. Lanar, Chandy C. John

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Background: Antibodies are important in protection against infection and disease caused by Plasmodium falciparum, but the frequencies of antibodies to multiple P. falciparum antigens in children are not well-characterized. Methods: IgG and IgM antibodies to the vaccine candidate antigens circumsporozoite protein, thrombospondin-related adhesive protein, liver stage antigen-1, apical membrane antigen-1, erythrocyte-binding antigen-175 and merozoite surface protein-1 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 110 children 0-50 months of age in a malaria holoendemic area of Kenya. Results: A similar pattern was seen for IgG antibodies to circumsporozoite protein, thrombospondin-related adhesive protein, apical membrane antigen-1 and erythrocyte-binding antigen-175: high frequencies (70-90%) in children 0-4 months of age; a decrease in children 5-20 months of age (35-71%); and progressive increases in children 21-36 and 37-50 months of age (53-80% and 60-100%, respectively). In contrast, IgG antibodies to liver stage antigen-1 were infrequent in children 0-4 months of age (5%) and increased with age to 64%, and IgG antibody frequencies to merozoite surface protein-1 were similar across age groups (26-52%). IgG antibodies to all antigens were predominantly of the IgG1 and IgG3 subclasses. Frequencies of IgM antibodies to all antigens were low in children 0-4 months of age (0-15%) and increased with age (24-56% in the oldest children). Conclusion: In children in a malaria-holoendemic area, IgM antibody to all P. falciparum antigens is infrequent in the first 4 months of life but increases with age and increased exposure. The pattern of age-related IgG response frequencies to P. falciparum antigens varies significantly by antigen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-684
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2005



  • Apical membrane antigen-1
  • Child
  • Circumsporozoite protein
  • Erythrocyte-binding antigen-175
  • IgG
  • Liver stage antigen-1
  • Malaria
  • Merozoite surface protein-1
  • Thrombospondin-related adhesive protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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