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The receptor-binding domain, region II, of the Plasmodium vivax Duffy binding protein (PvDBPII) binds the Duffy antigen on the reticulocyte surface to mediate invasion. A heterologous vaccine challenge trial recently showed that a delayed dosing regimen with recombinant PvDBPII SalI variant formulated with adjuvant Matrix-MTM reduced the in vivo parasite multiplication rate (PMR) in immunized volunteers challenged with the Thai P. vivax isolate PvW1. Here, we describe extensive analysis of the polyfunctional antibody responses elicited by PvDBPII immunization and identify immune correlates for PMR reduction. A classification algorithm identified antibody features that significantly contribute to PMR reduction. These included antibody titre, receptor-binding inhibitory titre, dissociation constant of the PvDBPII-antibody interaction, complement C1q and Fc gamma receptor binding and specific IgG subclasses. These data suggest that multiple immune mechanisms elicited by PvDBPII immunization are likely to be associated with protection and the immune correlates identified could guide the development of an effective vaccine for P. vivax malaria. Importantly, all the polyfunctional antibody features that correlated with protection cross-reacted with both PvDBPII SalI and PvW1 variants, suggesting that immunization with PvDBPII should protect against diverse P. vivax isolates.

Original publication




Journal article


NPJ Vaccines

Publication Date