Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) glycolipids abound on the cell surface at the merozoite stage of Plasmodium falciparum life cycle are a central toxin in malaria. The contribution of GPI specific humoral immune responses to protection against malaria pathology is not clear, since studies on the correlation between anti-GPI antibody titers and disease severity have yielded contradictory results. Here, we present the application of a carbohydrate microarray based on synthetic PfGPI glycans to assess levels and fine specificities of anti-GPI antibody responses in healthy and malaria diseased individuals. Furthermore, the age dependent development of humoral immune responses against GPI in malaria-exposed children was investigated. Anti-GPI antibodies were only rarely found in children under the age of 18 months. Sera from subjects with severe malaria and healthy children contained antibodies that recognized predominantly synthetic Man3-GPI and Man4-GPIs. In contrast, antibodies in sera of children with mild malaria also showed substantial reactivity with truncated glycans comprising glucosamine-inositol moieties without mannose or with only one or two mannose residues.
- Antibody responses
- Synthetic oligosaccharides