Associations between prenatal malaria exposure, maternal antibodies at birth, and malaria susceptibility during the first year of life in Burkina Faso

Hamtandi Magloire Natama, Gemma Moncunill, Marta Vidal, Toussaint Rouamba, Ruth Aguilar, Rebeca Santano, Eduard Rovira-Vallbona, Alfons Jiménez, M Athanase Somé, Hermann Sorgho, Innocent Valéa, Maminata Coulibaly-Traoré, Ross L Coppel, David Cavanagh, Chetan E Chitnis, James G Beeson, Evelina Angov, Sheetij Dutta, Benoit Gamain, Luis IzquierdoPetra F Mens, Henk D F H Schallig, Halidou Tinto, Anna Rosanas-Urgell, Carlota Dobaño

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Abstract

In this study, we investigated how different categories of prenatal malaria exposure (PME) influence levels of maternal antibodies in cord blood samples and the subsequent risk of malaria in early childhood in a birth cohort study (N = 661) nested within the COSMIC clinical trial (NCT01941264) in Burkina Faso. Plasmodium falciparum infections during pregnancy and infants' clinical malaria episodes detected during the first year of life were recorded. The levels of maternal IgG and IgG1-4 to 15 P. falciparum antigens were measured in cord blood by quantitative suspension array technology. Results showed a significant variation in the magnitude of maternal antibody levels in cord blood, depending on the PME category, with past placental malaria (PM) more frequently associated with significant increases of IgG and/or subclass levels across three groups of antigens defined as pre-erythrocytic, erythrocytic, and markers of PM, as compared to those from the cord of non-exposed control infants. High levels of antibodies to certain erythrocytic antigens (i.e., IgG to EBA140 and EBA175, IgG1 to EBA175 and MSP142, and IgG3 to EBA140 and MSP5) were independent predictors of protection from clinical malaria during the first year of life. By contrast, high levels of IgG, IgG1, and IgG2 to the VAR2CSA DBL1-2 and IgG4 to DBL3-4 were significantly associated with an increased risk of clinical malaria. These findings indicate that PME categories have different effects on the levels of maternal-derived antibodies to malaria antigens in children at birth, and this might drive heterogeneity to clinical malaria susceptibility in early childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0026823
JournalInfection and Immunity
Volume91
Issue number10
ISSN0019-9567
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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