Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Strain-transcending neutralization of malaria parasite by antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum enolase.

Abstract

Background: Plasmodium enolase is a target for the growth neutralizing antibodies. Interestingly, the three invasive stages i.e. sporozoites, merozoites, and ookinetes express this protein on their cell surface. Polyclonal anti-Plasmodium falciparum enolase (Pfeno) antibodies disrupt traversal of ookinete through mosquito mid-gut wall as well as have inhibitory effect on parasite growth at erythrocytic stage. In a recent study, it was observed that immunization with a unique epitope of parasite enolase (EWGWS) could confer partial protection against mouse malaria. Further validation is needed for the protective potential of this unique epitope in otherwise highly conserved enolase. Methods: In order to investigate the efficacy of growth inhibitory potential of the epitope of P falciparum enolase, a monoclonal antibody specific to EWGWS is generated. In vitro parasite growth inhibition assays and passive immunization of Plasmodium yoelii (or Plasmodium berghei) infected mice were used to assess the parasite growth neutralizing activity of the antibody. Results: Screening a panel of monoclonal antibodies raised against recombinant Pfeno that were specific to EWGWS resulted in isolation of H12E1. This antibody recognized only EWGWS epitope containing enolases. H12E1 strongly inhibited parasite growth in culture. This inhibition was strain transcending. Passive infusion of this antibody in P. yoelii or P. berghei infected mice showed significant reduction in parasitemia as compared to controls (p <0.001). Surface Plasmon Resonance measurements indicated high affinity binding of H12E1 to P. falciparum enolase (KD ∼7.6×10-9M). Conclusions: A monoclonal antibody directed against EWGWS epitope of Pfeno was shown to inhibit the growth of blood stage malarial parasites. This inhibition was species/strain transcending and is likely to arise due to blockade of enolase on the surface of merozoites, functionally implicating Pfeno in invasion related events. Presence of enolase on the cell surface of merozoites and ookinetes could potentially result in inhibition of host cell invasions at erythrocytic and transmission stages in the parasite life cycle. It is suggested that antibodies against EWGWS epitope have the potential to confer dual stage, species and strain transcending protection against malaria.