Gamma interferon (IFN-γ) responses to the Plasmodium falciparum antigens liver-stage antigen 1 (LSA-1) and thrombospondin-related adhesive protein (TRAP) are thought to be important in protection against malaria. Optimal methods of testing and the effects of age and transmission intensity on these responses are unknown. IFN-γ responses to LSA-1 and TRAP peptides were assessed by the enzyme-linked immunospot assay (ELISPOT) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in children and adults from areas of stable and unstable malaria transmission in Kenya. Adults in the areas of stable and unstable transmission had similar frequencies and levels of IFN-γ responses to LSA-1 and TRAP as determined by ELISPOT and ELISA. In contrast, IFN-γ responses to the LSA-1 T3 peptide (assessed by ELISPOT) and to any LSA-1 peptide (assessed by ELISA) were less frequent in children in the area of unstable transmission than in children in the area of stable transmission. IFN-γ responses to LSA-1 were more frequently detected by ELISA than by ELISPOT in the stable-transmission area. IFN-γ responses detected by ELISA and ELISPOT did not correlate with each other. In children in the stable-transmission area, IFN-γ responses to LSA-1 peptides assessed by ELISA, but not by ELISPOT, were associated with protection against clinical malaria and anemia. IFN-γ responses to LSA-1 appear to require repeated P. falciparum exposure and/or increased age and, as measured by ELISA, are associated with protection against clinical malaria and anemia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases