Background: Tools that estimate recent and long-term malaria transmission in a population would be highly useful for malaria elimination programs. Methods: The prevalence of antibodies to 11 Plasmodium falciparum antigens was assessed by cytometric bead assay or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 1000 people in a highland area of Kenya over 14 months, during a period of interrupted malaria transmission. Results: Antibodies differed by antigen in acquisition with age: rapid (>80% antibody positive by age 20 years, 5 antigens), moderate (>40% positive by age 20 years, 3 antigens), or slow (<40% positive by age 20 years, 3 antigens). Antibody seroreversion rates in the 14 months between samples decreased with age rapidly (7 antigens), slowly (3 antigens), or remained high at all ages (schizont extract). Estimated antibody half-lives in individuals >10 years of age were long (40 to >80 years) for 5 antigens, moderate (5-20 years) for 3 antigens, and short (<1 year) for 3 antigens. Conclusions: Antibodies to P. falciparum antigens in malaria-endemic areas vary by age, antigen, and time since last exposure to P. falciparum. Multiplex P. falciparum antibody testing could provide estimates of long-term and recent malaria transmission and potentially of a population's susceptibility to future clinical malaria.
- Plasmodium falciparum