Low birth weight in Papua New Guinea is a killer. Help us research what is causing low birth weight in PNG so that we can stop it.
We sought to identify a subset of Plasmodium falciparum antibody targets that would inform monitoring efforts needed to eliminate malaria in high transmission settings. IgG antibodies to 28 recombinant Pf antigens were measured in residents of two communities in western Kenya examined in 2003 and 2013, when the respective prevalence of asymptomatic parasitemia among children was 81 and 15 percent by microscopy. Annual seroconversion rates based on a sero-catalytic model that dichotomised antibody values to negative versus positive showed that rates were higher in 2003 than 2013 for 1 pre-erythrocytic and 7 blood-stage antigens. Antibody acquisition models that considered antibody levels as continuous variables showed that age-related antibody levels to Circumsporozoite Protein and 10 merozoite proteins increased at different rates with age in 2003 versus 2013. Both models found that antibodies to 5 proteins of the Merozoite Surface Protein 1 complex were differentially acquired between the cohorts, and that changes in antibody levels to Apical Membrane Antigen 1 suggested a decrease in transmission that occurred ~10 years before 2013. Further studies evaluating antibodies to this subset of Pf antigens as biomarkers of malaria exposure and naturally acquired immunity are warranted in endemic settings where transmission has been reduced but persists.