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BACKGROUND:Antibodies against the merozoite surface protein 1-19 (MSP1-19) and the apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1) of the malaria parasite (Plasmodium vivax) are proven to be important in protection against clinical disease. Differences in the production/maintenance of antibodies may be due to many factors including host genetics. This paper discusses the association of 4 anti-malarial antibodies with selected host genetic markers. METHODS:Blood was collected from individuals (n = 242) with a history of malaria within past 15 years for DNA and serum. ELISA was carried out for serum to determine the concentration of anti-malarial antibodies MSP1-19 and AMA1 for both vivax and falciparum malaria. 170 SNPs related to malaria were genotyped. Associations between seropositivity, antibody levels and genetic, non-genetic factors were determined. RESULTS:Age ranged 13-74 years (mean age = 40.21 years). Majority were females. Over 90% individuals possessed either one or more type(s) of anti-malarial antibodies. Five SNPs were significantly associated with seropositivity. One SNP was associated with MSP1-19_Pv(rs739718); 4 SNPs with MSP1-19_Pf (rs6874639, rs2706379, rs2706381 and rs2075820) and1 with AMA1_Pv (rs2075820). Eleven and 7 genotypes (out of 15) were significantly associated with either presence or absence of antibodies. Three SNPs were found to be significantly associated with the antibody levels viz. rs17411697 with MSP1-19_Pv, rs2227491 with AMA1_Pv and rs229587 with AMA1_Pf. Linkage of the markers in the two groups was similar, but lower LOD scores were observed in seropositives compared to seronegatives. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS:The study suggests that several SNPs in the human genome that exist in Sri Lankan populations are significantly associated with anti-malarial antibodies, either with generation and/or maintenance of antibodies for longer periods, which can be due to either individual polymorphisms or most probably a combined effect of the markers.

Original publication




Journal article


Malaria journal

Publication Date





Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Kynsey Road, Colombo 8, Sri Lanka.


Humans, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Malaria, Falciparum, Malaria, Vivax, Membrane Proteins, Protozoan Proteins, Merozoite Surface Protein 1, Antibodies, Protozoan, Antigens, Protozoan, Polymorphism, Genetic, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Middle Aged, Sri Lanka, Female, Male, Young Adult, Immunity, Humoral