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Immune responses directed at glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchors of Plasmodium falciparum may offer protection against symptomatic malaria. To independently explore the effect of age on generation of the anti-GPI IgG response, we measured serum anti-GPI IgGs in a longitudinal cohort of migrant Javanese children (6-12 years old) and adults (> or = 20 years old) with equivalent numbers of exposures to P. falciparum in Papua, Indonesia. While the peak response in adults was achieved after a single infection, comparable responses in children required > or = 3-4 infections. Significantly fewer children (16%) than adults (41%) showed a high (optical density > 0.44) anti-GPI IgG response (odds ratio [OR] = 3.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.3-6.3, P < 0.0001), and adults were more likely to show a persistently high response (OR = 5.5, 95% CI = 1.0-56.8, P = 0.03). However, the minority of children showing a strong response were significantly less likely to experience symptoms with subsequent parasitemia compared with those with a weak response (OR = 4.0, 95% CI = 1.1-13.8, P = 0.02). This effect was not seen among high- and low-responding adults (OR = 1.2, 95% CI = 0.5-2.8, P = 0.60). Host age, independent of cumulative exposure, apparently represents a key determinant of the quantitative and qualitative nature of the IgG response to P. falciparum GPI.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Am J Trop Med Hyg

Publication Date

07/2003

Volume

69

Pages

36 - 41

Keywords

Adult, Aging, Animals, Antigens, Protozoan, Child, Emigration and Immigration, Female, Glycosylphosphatidylinositols, Humans, Immunoglobulin G, Indonesia, Malaria, Falciparum, Male, Plasmodium falciparum, Risk Factors