Immunization with extracellular sexual stages of the malaria parasites can induce the production of antibodies which block the development of the parasites in the midgut of a mosquito after a blood meal. We have generated a number of monoclonal antibodies against gametes and zygotes of the human malaria Plasmodium falciparum. Two monoclonal antibodies (mAb) reacting with a 230-kDa gamete surface protein (mAb 1B3 and 2B4 both isotype IgG2a) were found to block transmission of P. falciparum to mosquitoes. Blocking was complement dependent and this was verified in vitro by the rapid lysis of newly formed gametes and zygotes in the presence of the mAb and active complement. Both mAb reacted by immunofluorescence with the surface of gametes and zygotes from isolates of P. falciparum from various geographical areas. Each mAb immunoprecipitated a 230-kDa protein from 125I-labeled surface proteins of newly formed gametes and zygotes and immunoblotted a protein doublet of about molecular mass 260 and 230 kDa from gametocytes and gametes of P. falciparum. Only the 230-kDa protein is expressed on the surface of newly formed macrogametes and zygotes. The 230-kDa gamete surface protein forms a molecular complex with two proteins of 48 and 45 kDa. The 48- and 45-kDa gamete surface proteins have previously been shown to be targets of mAb which block infectivity of P. falciparum to mosquitoes. The present study now demonstrates that antibodies against the 230-kDa gamete surface protein block transmission of P. falciparum to mosquitoes. The 230-kDa gamete protein is thus a potential candidate for a gamete vaccine.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.