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Evaluation of immunogenic properties of Plasmodium vivax merozoite proteins AMA1 and RON2

Grant number: 13/07710-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2013
Effective date (End): May 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Protozoology of Parasites
Principal Investigator:Letusa Albrecht
Grantee:Leonel Teixeira da Silveira
Host Institution: Instituto de Biologia (IB). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Plasmodium vivax is the most prevalent specie that causes malaria in South America. Recent findings estimate that there are about 390 million cases of malaria worldwide each year. In Brazil, P. vivax is responsible for 83.6% of malaria cases, being considered as the most frequent species of Plasmodium in the country. The erythrocytic life cycle, where the clinical symptoms of the disease appear is quite complex. In the particular, in case of P. vivax, only the reticulocytes are invaded, limiting the number of cells to be parasitized. In fact, it was believed that the infection was restricted to Duffy positive individuals. However, recent studies of Duffy negative individuals from different geographical areas challenge this paradigm. Several merozoite surface proteins have been described, some being vaccine candidate antigens, however, little is known about the biological relevance of each. The main objective of this project is to examine the immunogenic properties of merozoite proteins of Plasmodium vivax AMA1of RON2 as well as their ability to interact with the erythrocyte. For this, ELISA assays will be performed to search for naturally acquired antibodies. Binding assays with the recombinant protein and the red blood cell will be performed to verify is those proteins can mediate the binding between parasite and host cell. This project will evaluate the properties of merozoite proteins contributing to the understanding vaccine candidates in malaria vivax. (AU)

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