Transmission-reducing and -enhancing monoclonal antibodies against Plasmodium vivax gamete surface protein Pvs48/45

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Infection and immunity




Anopheles darlingi; Plasmodium vivax; Pvs48/45; monoclonal antibodies; transmission-blocking vaccine; transmission-enhancing activity; transmission-reducing activity


Gamete surface protein P48/45 has been shown to be important for male gamete fertility and a strong candidate for the development of a malaria transmission-blocking vaccine (TBV). However, TBV development for homolog Pvs48/45 has been slow because of a number of challenges: availability of conformationally suitable recombinant protein; the lack of an challenge model; and the inability to produce gametocytes in culture to test transmission-blocking activity of antibodies. To support ongoing efforts to develop Pvs48/45 as a potential vaccine candidate, we initiated efforts to develop much needed reagents to move the field forward. We generated monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against Pvs48/45 and characterized putative functional domains in Pvs48/45 using recombinant fragments corresponding to domains D1-D3 and their biological functionality through direct membrane feeding assays (DMFAs) using parasites from patients in a field setting in Brazil. While some mAbs partially blocked oocyst development in the DMFA, one mAb caused a significant enhancement of the infectivity of gametocytes in the mosquitoes. Individual mAbs exhibiting blocking and enhancing activities recognized non-overlapping epitopes in Pvs48/45. Further characterization of precise epitopes recognized by transmission-reducing and -enhancing antibodies will be crucial to design an effective immunogen with optimum transmission-reducing potential.


Global Health