1 Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Centre for Medical Parasitology, Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet3 unknown4 Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet5 Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Malaria transmission in most of Latin America can be considered as controlled. In such a scenario, parameters of baseline immunity to malaria antigens are of specific interest with respect to future malaria eradication efforts. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out in two indigenous population groups in Amazonas/Venezuela. Data from the regional malaria documentation system were extracted and participants from the ethnic groups of the Guahibo (n = 180) and Piaroa (n = 295) were investigated for the presence of Plasmodium parasites and naturally acquired antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum antigens in serum. The GMZ2 vaccine candidate proteins MSP3 and GLURP were chosen as serological markers. RESULTS: The incidence of P. falciparum in both communities was found to be less than 2%, and none of the participants harboured P. falciparum at the time of the cross-sectional. Nearly a quarter of the participants (111/475; 23,4%) had positive antibody titres to at least one of the antigens. 53/475 participants (11.2%) were positive for MSP3, and 93/475 participants (19.6%) were positive for GLURP. High positive responses were detected in 36/475 participants (7.6%) and 61/475 participants (12.8%) for MSP3 and GLURP, respectively. Guahibo participants had significantly higher antibody titres than Piaroa participants. CONCLUSIONS: Considering the low incidence of P. falciparum, submicroscopical infections may explain the comparatively high anti-P. falciparum antibody concentrations.