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Conserved alleles in Plasmodium falciparum variant antigens: studies on existence and immunological response in individuals from an endemic area

Grant number: 06/02143-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2006
Effective date (End): March 31, 2008
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Protozoology of Parasites
Principal Investigator:Gerhard Wunderlich
Grantee:Alessandra Sampaio Bassi Fratus
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


An important factor in the pathogenicity of the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum, the causing agent of Malaria, is the presence and expression of highly polymorphic antigens encoded by the multigene families var rif and stevor. The extreme polymorfism of these genes in strains from different geographic locations around the world is in contrast to the observation of a number of conserved alleles in Amazonian isolates, similar to the previously described conserved var gene var2csa. In this project, we first evaluate if the apparently “conserved” alleles of var, rif and stevor genes indeed occur in the majority of Amazonian isolates and in a number of control samples from Gabon/Africa. In the following, recombinant proteins of the “conserved” alleles will be expressed and the humoral immune response against these antigens will be measured in imunoblots and Elisas. As controls, proteins from apparently “rare” variants are produced and the immune response measured in parallel. In order to estimate the importance of the response against these antigens, sera/plasma from individuals with different experience of malarial infection will be employed (primary infected individuals/symptomatic individuals/non-symptomatic individuals). The resulting data will add important information which will help to explain the conservation of these antigens and their corresponding genes.

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
FRATUS, Alessandra Sampaio Bassi. Expression and immune recognition of conserved alleles of Plasmodium falciparum variant antigens.. 2008. Master's Dissertation - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB/SDI) São Paulo.

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