Zhou AE, et al. (2019) “Antibodies to Peptides in Semiconserved Domains of RIFINs and STEVORs Correlate with Malaria Exposure.” mSphere. 4(2). pii: e00097-19. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00097-19
The repetitive interspersed family (RIFIN) and the subtelomeric variable open reading frame (STEVOR) family represent two of three major Plasmodium falciparum variant surface antigen families involved in malaria pathogenesis and immune evasion and are potential targets in the development of natural immunity. Protein and peptide microarrays populated with RIFINs and STEVORs associated with severe malaria vulnerability in Malian children were probed with adult and pediatric sera to identify epitopes that reflect malaria exposure. Adult sera recognized and reacted with greater intensity to all STEVOR proteins than pediatric sera did. Serorecognition of and seroreactivity to peptides within the semiconserved domain of STEVORs increased with age and seasonal malaria exposure, while serorecognition and seroreactivity increased for the semiconserved and second hypervariable domains of RIFINs only with age. Serologic responses to RIFIN and STEVOR peptides within the semiconserved domains may play a role in natural immunity to severe malaria.