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The protective association between the human leukocyte antigen HLA-B53 and severe malaria was investigated by sequencing of peptides eluted from this molecule followed by screening of candidate epitopes from pre-erythrocytic-stage antigens of Plasmodium falciparum in biochemical and cellular assays. Among malaria-immune Africans, HLA-B53-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocytes recognized a conserved nonamer peptide from liver-stage-specific antigen-1 (LSA-1), but no HLA-B53-restricted epitopes were identified in other antigens. These findings indicate a possible molecular basis for this HLA-disease association and support the candidacy of liver-stage-specific antigen-1 as a malaria vaccine component.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





434 - 439


Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Antigens, Protozoan, B-Lymphocytes, Base Sequence, Cell Line, Epitopes, Genetic Variation, HLA Antigens, Histocompatibility Testing, Humans, Immunity, Innate, Liver, Malaria, Malaria, Falciparum, Molecular Sequence Data, Oligodeoxyribonucleotides, Plasmodium falciparum, Polymerase Chain Reaction, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Vaccines