Cytotoxic T cells specific for the circumsporozoite protein of Plasmodium falciparum

Abstract

Malaria is initiated by the inoculation of a susceptible host with sporozoites from an infected mosquito. The sporozoites enter hepatocytes and develop for a period as exoerythrocyte or hepatic stage parasites1. Vaccination with irradiated sporozoites can provide protective immunity1 and a recent study2 shows that this can also be conferred by immunization with a recombinant salmonella expressing only the circumsporozoite protein that normally covers the sporozoites. Protection against infection is likely to be mediated by cytotoxic CD8+ cells, as depletion of CD8+ T cells in a sporozoite-immunized animal can completely abrogate immunity3,4. Here we demonstrate directly the existence of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) that recognize the circumsporozoite protein. B10.BR mice immunized with sporozoites or with recombinant vaccinia virus expressing the CS protein of Plasmodium falciparum contain CTL that specifically kill L cell fibroblasts transfected with the gene encoding the same CS protein. The peptide epitope from the CS protein that is recognized by CTL from this strain of mice is from a variant region of the protein.

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Kumar, S., Miller, L., Quakyi, I. et al. Cytotoxic T cells specific for the circumsporozoite protein of Plasmodium falciparum. Nature 334, 258–260 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1038/334258a0

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