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Plasmodium vivax invasion of reticulocytes relies on distinct receptor-ligand interactions between the parasite and host erythrocytes. Engagement of the highly polymorphic domain II of the P. vivax Duffy-binding protein (DBPII) with the erythrocyte's Duffy Ag receptor for chemokines (DARC) is essential. Some P. vivax-exposed individuals acquired Abs to DBPII that block DBPII-DARC interaction and inhibit P. vivax reticulocyte invasion, and Ab levels correlate with protection against P. vivax malaria. To better understand the functional characteristics and fine specificity of protective human Abs to DBPII, we sorted single DBPII-specific IgG+ memory B cells from three individuals with high blocking activity to DBPII. We identified 12 DBPII-specific human mAbs from distinct lineages that blocked DBPII-DARC binding. All mAbs were P. vivax strain transcending and targeted known binding motifs of DBPII with DARC. Eleven mAbs competed with each other for binding, indicating recognition of the same or overlapping epitopes. Naturally acquired blocking Abs to DBPII from individuals with high levels residing in different P. vivax-endemic areas worldwide competed with mAbs, suggesting broadly shared recognition sites. We also found that mAbs inhibited P. vivax entry into reticulocytes in vitro. These findings suggest that IgG+ memory B cell activity in individuals with P. vivax strain-transcending Abs to DBPII display a limited clonal response with inhibitory blocking directed against a distinct region of the molecule.

Original publication





Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Publication Date





2648 - 2660


Center for Global Health and Diseases, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44106.


B-Lymphocytes, Humans, Plasmodium vivax, Malaria, Vivax, Receptors, Cell Surface, Protozoan Proteins, Antibodies, Blocking, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antigens, Protozoan, Antibody Specificity, Immunologic Memory, Female, Male