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The merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) is the most abundant protein on the surface of the invasive merozoite stages of Plasmodium falciparum and has long been considered a key target of protective immunity. We used samples from a single controlled human malaria challenge study to test whether the full-length version of MSP1 (MSP1FL) induced antibodies that mediated Fc-IgG functional activity in five independent assays. We found that anti-MSP1FL antibodies induced complement fixation via C1q, monocyte-mediated phagocytosis, neutrophil respiratory burst, and natural killer cell degranulation as well as IFNγ production. Activity in each of these assays was strongly associated with protection. The breadth of MSP1-specific Fc-mediated effector functions was more strongly associated with protection than the individual measures and closely mirrored what we have previously reported using the same assays against merozoites. Our findings suggest that MSP1FL is an important target of functional antibodies that contribute to a protective immune response against malaria.

Original publication




Journal article


Life Sci Alliance

Publication Date





Humans, Merozoite Surface Protein 1, Malaria, Falciparum, Plasmodium falciparum, Antibodies, Protozoan, Phagocytosis, Immunoglobulin G, Killer Cells, Natural, Interferon-gamma, Female, Merozoites, Neutrophils