Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Protective immunity to malaria has been achieved in human volunteers utilizing the pre-erythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum antigen, the circumsporozoite protein (CS). However, T cell reactivity to CS is focused on several highly polymorphic T cell epitope regions, potentially limiting the efficacy of any vaccine to specific malaria strains. Another important pre-erythrocytic malaria antigen, the thrombospondin-related adhesive protein (TRAP), can induce protection in animal models of malaria, but knowledge of human T cell responses is limited to the identification of CD8 T cell epitopes, with no CD4 epitopes identified to date. This comprehensive study assessed reactivity to overlapping peptides spanning almost the whole of P. falciparum TRAP (PITRAP), as well as peptides selected on the basis of HLA class II-binding motifs. A total of 50 naturally exposed Gambian adults were assessed to define 26 T cell epitopes in PfTRAP capable of inducing rapid IFN-γ or IL-4 production, as assessed by enzyme-linked immunospot assays. In contrast to the CS protein, this reactivity was broadly distributed along the length of TRAP. Moreover, of the 26 epitopes identified, 10 were found to be conserved in West Africa.

Original publication




Journal article


European Journal of Immunology

Publication Date





1943 - 1954