Bartholomew Ondigo

Nominated From: University of Minnesota

Research Site: Kenya

Research Area: Malaria Immunology

Primary Mentors: Chandy John

Research Project

Quality of the Antibody Responses to Multiple P. Falciparum Antigens in Western Kenya

Malaria is one of the world’s most deadly diseases. Even though it is highly preventable and treatable, it’s a leading cause of morbidity and death in the tropics. However, little data exists on antibody responses in regions with divergent patterns of malaria transmission. This study aims to measure antibody responses to multiple Plasmodium falciparum antigens in different populations in western Kenya. In addition the study will validate and develop a multiplex assay for malaria antibody avidity measurements. Antibody responses will be measured for ten P. falciparum vaccine candidate antigens in highland and lowland sites. Antigens to be tested include: AMA-1, EBA-175, EBP-2, GLURP-R0, GLURP-R2, MSP-142, MSP-3, LSA-NRC, CSP and P. falciparum schizont extract. Testing for immunoglobulin G (IgG) will be performed by multiplex cytometric bead assay (CBA) and ELISA in 600 randomly selected individuals from the two study sites in western Kenya.

Research Significance

Expected results will give knowledge on the ability of multiplex assays to be incorporated as an alternative to ELISA in antibody avidity measurements. Further, the development of vaccine and other novel interventions strategies for controls requires a better understanding of naturally acquired humoral response; therefore, results of this study could possibly contribute to current efforts on vaccine development against P. falciparum for elimination of malaria in areas with different transmission pressures.

Advice for Potential Applicants

This fellowship has a phenomenal training approach designed to jumpstart the path towards a developing a research project together with working on acquiring knowledge on vital learning objectives involved in the process of research.




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