RTS,S malaria vaccine efficacy and immunogenicity during Plasmodium falciparum challenge is associated with HLA genotype

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Abstract

Although RTS,S remains the most advanced malaria vaccine, the factors influencing differences in vaccine immunogenicity or efficacy between individuals or populations are still poorly characterised. The analyses of genetic determinants of immunogenicity have previously been restricted by relatively small sample sizes from individual trials. Here we combine data from six Phase II RTS,S trials and evaluate the relationship between HLA allele groups and RTS,S-mediated protection in controlled human malaria infections (CHMI), using multivariate logistic or linear regression. We observed significant associations between three allele groups (HLA-A ∗ 01, HLA-B ∗ 08, and HLA-DRB1 ∗ 15/ ∗ 16) and protection, while another three allele groups (HLA-A ∗ 03, HLA-B ∗ 53, and HLA-DRB1 ∗ 07) were significantly associated with lack of protection. It is noteworthy that these ‘protective’ allele groups are thought to be at a lower prevalence in sub-Saharan African populations than in the UK or USA where these Phase II trials occurred. Taken together, the analyses presented here give an indication that HLA genotype may influence RTS,S-mediated protective efficacy against malaria infection.

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Nielsen, C. M., Vekemans, J., Lievens, M., Kester, K. E., Regules, J. A., & Ockenhouse, C. F. (2018). RTS,S malaria vaccine efficacy and immunogenicity during Plasmodium falciparum challenge is associated with HLA genotype. Vaccine, 36(12), 1637–1642. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.01.069

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