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Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) have been implicated in immunity to Plasmodium falciparum infection and disease. We have previously described the use of peptides to define malaria-specific CTL epitopes. To determine whether these peptide epitopes are processed intracellularly from the whole antigen we have developed recombinant vaccinia viruses (rVV) expressing three malaria antigens: thrombospondin-related adhesive protein (TRAP), Pfs16 and the C-terminal half of liver-stage antigen (LSA)-1. Target cells infected with recombinant viruses were lysed by malaria-specific CTL from semi-immune African donors. We also tested the ability of cells infected with these recombinant vaccinia viruses to re-stimulate malaria-specific CTL in peripheral blood lymphocytes from malaria immune adults. Two other pox virus recombinants, NYVAC, an attenuated vaccinia virus, and ALVAC, a canarypox virus, both expressing malaria antigens were also evaluated for their ability to stimulate malaria-specific CTL in contrast to peptide, none of these viruses successfully re-stimulated CTL from the peripheral blood lymphocytes of semi-immune donors. The ability of human CTL from naturally exposed individuals to recognize processed antigen supports the relevance of these cells in protective immunity to malaria.

Original publication




Journal article


Int Immunol

Publication Date





731 - 737


Adult, Animals, Antigen Presentation, Antigens, Protozoan, Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte, Humans, Immunization, Secondary, Lymphocyte Activation, Malaria, Falciparum, Plasmodium falciparum, Recombination, Genetic, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Vaccinia virus