Substantially reduced pre-patent parasite multiplication rates are associated with naturally acquired immunity to Plasmodium falciparum.
Douglas AD., Andrews L., Draper SJ., Bojang K., Milligan P., Gilbert SC., Imoukhuede EB., Hill AVS.
Naturally acquired immunity to Plasmodium falciparum's asexual blood stage reduces parasite multiplication at microscopically detectable densities. The effect of natural immunity on initial prepatent parasite multiplication during the period following a new infection has been uncertain, contributing to doubt regarding the utility of experimental challenge models for blood-stage vaccine trials. Here we present data revealing that parasite multiplication rates during the initial prepatent period in semi-immune Gambian adults are substantially lower than in malaria-naive participants. This supports the view that a blood-stage vaccine capable of emulating the disease-reducing effect of natural immunity could achieve a detectable effect during the prepatent period.