Malaria-071, a controlled human malaria infection trial, demonstrated that administration of three doses of RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine given at one month intervals was inferior to a delayed fractional dose (DFD) schedule (62.5% vs 86.7% protection respectively). To investigate the underlying immunologic mechanism, we analyzed the B and T peripheral follicular helper cell (pTfh) responses. Here we show that protection in both study arms was associated with early induction of functional IL-21-secreting circumsporozoite (CSP)-specific pTfh cells together with induction of CSP-specific memory B cell responses after the 2nd dose that persisted after the 3rd dose. Data integration of key immunologic measures identified a subset of non-protected individuals in the standard (STD) vaccine arm who lost prior protective B cell responses after receiving the 3rd vaccine dose. We conclude that the DFD regimen favors persistence of functional B cells post 3rd dose.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)