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UNLABELLED: The Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines (DARC) expressed on erythrocytes is central to Plasmodium vivax (Pv) invasion of reticulocytes. Pv expresses a Duffy binding protein (PvDBP) on merozoites, a DARC ligand, and their protein-protein interaction is central to vivax blood stage malaria. Here we compared the functional activity of humAbs derived from naturally exposed and vaccinated individuals for the first time using easily cultured P. knowlesi (Pk) that had been genetically modified to replace its endogenous PkDBP orthologue with PvDBP to create a transgenic parasite, PkPvDBPOR. This transgenic parasite requires DARC to invade human erythrocytes but is not reticulocyte restricted. Using this model, we evaluated the invasion inhibition potential of 12 humAbs (9 naturally acquired; 3 vaccine-induced) targeting PvDBP individually and in combinations using growth inhibition assays (GIAs). The PvDBP-specific humAbs demonstrated 70-100% inhibition of PkPvDBPOR invasion with the IC 50 values ranging from 51 to 338 μg/mL for the 9 naturally acquired (NA) humAbs and 33 to 99 μg/ml for the 3 vaccine-induced (VI) humAbs. To evaluate antagonistic, additive, or synergistic effects, six pairwise combinations were performed using select humAbs. Of these combinations tested, one NA/NA (099100/094083) combination demonstrated relatively strong additive inhibition between 10-100 μg/mL; all combinations of NA and VI humAbs showed additive inhibition at concentrations below 25 μg/mL and antagonism at higher concentrations. None of the humAb combinations showed synergy. This PkPvDBPOR model system enables efficient assessment of NA and VI humAbs individually and in combination. IMPORTANCE: Given the importance of Duffy blood group antigen and P. vivax Duffy binding protein (PvDBP) interaction leading to blood stage vivax malaria, development of vaccines or therapeutic human monoclonal antibodies (humAbs) targeting PvDBP are key strategies for treating and controlling Pv. The P. knowlesi -based PkPvDBPOR transgenic model system enables efficient assessment of NA and VI humAbs individually and in combination. As such, this model could prioritize specific humAb combinations ahead of clinical trials of these reagents.

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