In a study of recombinant proteins that might be useful in developing a vaccine against malaria, synthetic peptides from the circumsporozoite (CS) protein of Plasmodium falciparum were found to be immunogenic for mice and rabbits. Antibody to peptides from the repeating region of the CS protein recognized native CS protein and blocked sporozoite invasion of human hepatoma cells in vitro. Antibodies to peptides from regions I and II had no biologic activity, although antibody to region I recognized processed CS protein by Western blot analysis. These data support the feasibility of developing a vaccine against the sporozoite stage of the malaria parasite by using synthetic peptides of the repeating region of the CS protein conjugated to a carrier protein.

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