With the genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax sequenced, it is important to determine the proteomes of the parasite in order to assist efforts in antigen and drug target discovery. Since a method for continuous culture of P. vivax parasite is not available, we tried to study the proteome of the erythrocytic stages using fresh parasite isolates from patients. In schizont-enriched samples, 316 proteins were confidently identified by tandem mass spectrometry. Almost 50% of the identified proteins were hypothetical, while other major categories include proteins with binding function, protein fate, protein synthesis, metabolism and cellular transport. To identify proteins that are recognized by host humoral immunity, parasite proteins were separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and screened by Western blot using an immune serum from a P. vivax patient. Mass spectrometry analysis of protein spots recognized by the serum identified four potential antigens including PV24. The recombinant protein PV24 was recognized by antibodies from vivax malaria patients even during the convalescent period, indicating that PV24 could elicit long-lasting antibody responses in P. vivax patients.
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