Low birth weight in Papua New Guinea is a killer. Help us research what is causing low birth weight in PNG so that we can stop it.
This study aimed to evaluate whether intermittent preventive treatment in infants with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (IPTi-SP) had an effect on the acquisition of IgG against Plasmodium falciparum variant surface antigens (VSA) and growth-inhibitory antibodies in Manhica, Mozambique. In addition, we assessed factors affecting the magnitude of these responses and the association between antibody levels and protection against malaria. IgG to VSA expressed by MOZ2, R29 and E8B parasite isolates were measured in plasma samples collected at 5, 9, 12 and 24 months of age by flow cytometry. Growth-inhibitory antibodies in dialyzed plasmas using GFP-D10 parasites were measured by flow cytometry at 12 and 24 months. IPTi-SP did not significantly modify the levels of IgG against VSA nor the growth-inhibitory capacity of antibodies up to 2 years of age. Age but not previous episodes of malaria influenced the magnitude of these responses. In addition, anti-VSA IgG levels were 7% higher in children with current P. falciparum infection and were associated with neighborhood of residence. Children aged 24 months had 10% less parasite growth than those aged 12 months (95% CI 0.88-0.93, P<0.0001). Growth-inhibitory antibodies correlated with levels of IgG against AMA-1, when evaluating the 10% (R(2)=0.444, P=0.049) and 20% (R(2)=0.230, P=0.037) highest inhibitory samples. None of the responses were associated with subsequent risk of malaria. In conclusion, IPTi-SP does not negatively affect the development of antibody responses thought to be major contributors to the acquisition of immunity to malaria in infancy.