Pfs25 is a sexual stage antigen of Plasmodium falciparum that is expressed on the surface of zygote and ookinete forms of the parasite. Monoclonal antibodies directed against native Pfs25 can block completely the development of P. falciparum oocysts in the midgut of the mosquito vector. Thus, this 25-kD protein is a potential vaccine candidate for eliciting transmission-blocking immunity in inhabitants of malaria endemic regions. We have synthesized, by secretion from yeast, a polypeptide analogue of Pfs25 that reacts with conformation-dependent monoclonal antibodies, and elicits transmission-blocking antibodies when used to immunize mice and monkeys in conjunction with a muramyl tripeptide adjuvant. Our results suggest the further evaluation of recombinant DNA-derived Pfs25 in transmission-blocking vaccination studies in humans.

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