Immunization with AgTRIO, a Protein in Anopheles Saliva, Contributes to Protection against Plasmodium Infection in Mice.
Plasmodium infection begins with the bite of an anopheline mosquito, when sporozoites along with saliva are injected into a vertebrate host. The role of the host responses to mosquito saliva components in malaria remains unclear. We observed that antisera against Anopheles gambiae salivary glands partially protected mice from mosquito-borne Plasmodium infection. Specifically, antibodies to A. gambiae TRIO (AgTRIO), a mosquito salivary gland antigen, contributed to the protection. Mice administered AgTRIO antiserum showed lower Plasmodium liver burden and decreased parasitemia when exposed to infected mosquitoes. Active immunization with AgTRIO was also partially protective against Plasmodium berghei infection. A combination of AgTRIO antiserum and antibodies against Plasmodium circumsporozoite protein, a vaccine candidate, further decreased P. berghei infection. In humanized mice, AgTRIO antiserum afforded some protection against mosquito-transmitted Plasmodium falciparum. AgTRIO antiserum reduced the movement of sporozoites in the murine dermis. AgTRIO may serve as an arthropod-based target against Plasmodium to combat malaria.