Rhesus monkeys were immunized with a preparation of Plasmodium knowlesi parasites containing principally microgametes with lesser numbers of macrogametes and asexual trophozoites. The antigen mixture was emulsified in Freund's complete adjuvant (FCA) and administered intramuscularly. After one or two inoculations of from 10(5) to 10(7) microgametes in FCA, monkeys showed high levels of circulating anti-gamete antibodies as demonstrated by various in vitro microgamete immobilization or transmission blocking tests. After challenge with P. knowlesi, immunized monkeys developed low level asexual parasitemias and were not infectious to feeding mosquitoes as measured by growth of the parasite on the mosquito gut. Control monkeys developed rapidly rising, usually fatal infections and were highly infectious to mosquitoes. Anti-gamete antibodies appear to neutralize the sexual parasites and prevent mosquito infection within the gut of the recently fed mosquito vector. Suppression of asexual parasitemia in immunized monkeys may be due to the presence of asexual trophozoites in the antigen mixture or to antigens common to both sexual and asexual stages of the parasite. A vaccine effective as a single injection capable of interrupting malaria transmission from man to man whereas reducing the severity of the disease in infected individuals offers a new approach to the control of one of the major diseases affecting man.

This content is only available as a PDF.