Molecular analysis of the association of HLA-B53 and resistance to severe malaria

Abstract

The protective association between the human leukocyte antigen HLA-B53 and severe malaria was investigated by sequencing of peptides eluted from this molecule followed by screening of candidate epitopes from pre-erythrocytic-stage antigens of Plasmodium falciparum in biochemical and cellular assays. Among malaria-immune Africans, HLA-B53-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocytes recognized a conserved nonamer peptide from liver-stage-specific antigen-1 (LSA-1), but no HLA-B53-restricted epitopes were identified in other antigens. These findings indicate a possible molecular basis for this HLA-disease association and support the candidacy of liver-stage-specific antigen-1 as a malaria vaccine component.

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