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Measuring Naturally Acquired Phagocytosis-Inducing Antibodies to Plasmodium falciparum Parasites by a Flow Cytometry-Based Assay

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  • Maria Del Pilar Quintana
  • Nsoh Godwin Anabire
  • Lars Hviid
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The protocol describes how to set up and run a flow cytometry-based phagocytosis assay of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes (IEs) opsonized by naturally acquired IgG antibodies specific for VAR2CSA. VAR2CSA is the parasite antigen that mediates the selective sequestration of IEs in the placenta that can cause a severe form of malaria in pregnant women, called placental malaria (PM). Protection from PM is mediated by VAR2CSA-specific antibodies that are believed to function by inhibiting placental sequestration and/or by opsonizing IEs for phagocytosis. The assay employs late-stage-synchronized IEs that have been selected in vitro to express VAR2CSA, plasma/serum-antibodies from women with naturally acquired PM-specific immunity, and the phagocytic cell line THP-1. However, the protocol can easily be modified to assay the functionality of antibodies to any parasite antigen present on the IE surface, whether induced by natural exposure or by vaccination. The assay offers simple and high-throughput evaluation, with good reproducibility, of an important functional aspect of antibody-mediated immunity in malaria. It is, therefore, useful when evaluating clinical immunity to P. falciparum malaria, a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the tropics, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Issue number162
ISSN1940-087X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2020

    Research areas

  • Animals, Antibodies, Protozoan/analysis, Antigens, Protozoan/immunology, Biological Assay/methods, Erythrocytes/parasitology, Female, Flow Cytometry/methods, Humans, Malaria, Falciparum/blood, Opsonin Proteins/metabolism, Parasites/immunology, Phagocytosis, Plasmodium falciparum/immunology, Pregnancy, Receptors, Fc/metabolism, Reproducibility of Results, THP-1 Cells

ID: 62343409