Published: Congrats to Akshay Krishnamurty in the Pepper Lab

Somatically Hypermutated Plasmodium-Specific IgM+ Memory B Cells Are Rapid, Plastic, Early Responders upon Malaria Rechallenge

A class of white cells that has long been thought to play a relatively minor role in the body’s defenses against malaria infection may, in fact, be a potent weapon against the malaria parasite. These cells may be key to developing more effective vaccines, according to a report today in the journal Immunity. UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s researchers headed the study. The findings suggest that these white blood cells, called IgM memory B cells, may be more important in the body’s early response to malaria re-infection than another group of cells, called IgG memory B cells, that for years have been the focus of malaria-vaccine research, said Marion Pepper, University of Washington assistant professor of immunology. She led the research project. “The focus on IgG memory B cells in malaria vaccine development may be why malaria vaccines developed to date have not proven very effective,” Pepper said. Read the full UW Health Sciences News Beat Article.

Mouse red blood cells infected with the rodent parasite Plasmodium chabaudi. The blue ring structures in the cells are the blood form of the parasite.Pepper designed the experiments with Akshay T. Krishnamurty, a UW graduate student who also performed the experiments with help from Gladys Keitany and Karen Kim. David J. Rawlings designed and Christopher D. Thouvenel performed the sequencing analysis, cloning and generation of the monoclonal antibodies. They are both from UW Medicine and the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Anthony Holder and Jean Langhorne, of the Francis Crick Institute, London, provided the Merozoite Surface Protein 1. Peter D. Compton, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, provided expertise with human experiments and human samples. 
 
 
Photo by: Akshay Krishnamurty, Pepper Lab, UW Immunology
LEFT: Mouse red blood cells infected with the rodent parasite Plasmodium chabaudi.
The blue ring structures in the cells are the blood form of the parasite.

Authors: Akshay T. Krishnamurty, Christopher D. Thouvenel,  Silvia Portugal,  Gladys J. Keitany, Karen S. Kim,  Anthony Holder,&nbsp Peter D. Crompton, David J. Rawlings,  Marion Pepper

Publication stage: In Press Corrected Proof