Zoe Liu - Population Health & Development division

Zoe Liu - Population Health & Development division

Davis Auditorium
Start Time: 
Tue, 03/12/2019 - 3:00pm
End Time: 
Tue, 03/12/2019 - 4:00pm

Defining naturally acquired antibody kinetics following Plasmodium vivax infections in low-transmission western Thailand

PhD Completion seminar​ hosted by Professor Ivo Mueller

Malaria affects more than 200 million people worldwide, severely impairing the development of a country. Plasmodium vivax is the predominant species causing malaria in low transmission regions such as Thailand. Hence, monitoring and controlling P. vivax is critical to achieve the last mile towards elimination.

P. vivax is difficult to control due to its dormant liver stage form and asymptomatic reservoir with sub-patent parasitaemia, posing a challenge for both surveillance and treatment. Because naturally acquired immunity (NAI) plays a key role in the regulation of parasite clearance and clinical protection, it can be harnessed for novel elimination strategies. However, P. vivax-specific NAI remains understudied.

In this seminar, Zoe will describe the most in-depth screen to-date of antibody responses against P. vivax antigens following P. vivax infections. This will include detailed antibody kinetics (total IgG, IgG subclass, and IgM) following both clinical and asymptomatic infections in naturally exposed individuals. Zoe will also discuss the potential impact of antigenic features (including sequence diversity) and memory B cell responses on antibody longevity. Data generated through Zoe’s PhD project will help identify populations at risk of P. vivax infection, that can be targeted for elimination, and will provide valuable insights for development of vaccines inducing long-lived antibody responses.