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Twenty monoclonal antibodies have been prepared to the erythrocytes from CBA/Ca mice infected with the rodent malaria Plasmodium chabaudi. By immunofluorescence, 15 of these antibodies recognized parasite antigens expressed only during the development of mature trophozoites to schizonts and merozoites, 2 recognized parasite antigens that were expressed throughout most of the intraerythrocytic cycle, and 3 recognized the membranes of all infected and uninfected erythrocytes. By immunoprecipitation of [35S]methionine-labeled, parasitized erythrocytes, parasite antigens recognized by all of the antiparasite antibodies were characterized. Eleven precipitated a 250,000-dalton parasite polypeptide which was synthesized and expressed late in the intraerythrocytic cell cycle and which appeared to be the major coat protein of the merozoites. In passive protection experiments, transfer of hyperimmune serum before infection with the parasite resulted in a delay in the rise of parasitemia, reduction in peak parasitemias, and a delay in the clearance of the parasitemia. Two monoclonal antibodies to the 250,000-dalton polypeptide had a similar but not as marked effect on parasitemia when given as a single dose before infection. When mixed and administered throughout the course of infection, their effects were greater. They had no influence on the course of Plasmodium berghei KSP11 parasitemia. Monoclonal antibodies to other parasite antigens and normal erythrocyte antigens failed to have a significant and reproducible effect on P. chabaudi parasitemia. The results suggest that this 250,000-dalton malaria parasite antigen may be important in the induction and expression of antibody-mediated immunity to malaria.


Journal article


Infect Immun

Publication Date





94 - 102


Animals, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antigens, Surface, Immunization, Passive, Malaria, Mice, Mice, Inbred CBA, Molecular Weight, Plasmodium, Proteins, Rats