Comparison of non-magnetic and magnetic beads multiplex assay for assessment of Plasmodium falciparum antibodies

Bartholomew N. Ondigo, Gregory S. Park, Cyrus Ayieko, Donald D. Nyangahu, Ronald Wasswa, Chandy John

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background. New reagents have emerged allowing researchers to assess a growing number of vaccine-associated immune parameters. Multiplex immunoassay(s) are emerging as efficient high-throughput assays in malaria serology. Currently, commercial vendors market several bead reagents for cytometric bead assays (CBA) but relative performances are not well published. We have compared two types of beadbased multiplex assays to measure relative antibody levels to malarial antigens. Methods. Assays for the measurement of antibodies to five Plasmodium falciparum vaccine candidates using non-magnetic and magnetic fluorescent microspheres were compared for their performances with a Bio-Plex200 instrument. Mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) was determined from individuals from western Kenya and compared to known positive and negative control plasma samples. Results. P. Falciparum recombinant antigens were successfully coupled to both nonmagnetic and magnetic beads in multiplex assays. MFIs between the two bead types were comparable for all antigens tested. Bead recovery was superior with magnetic beads for all antigens. MFI values of stored non-magnetic coupled beads did not differ from freshly coupled beads, though they showed higher levels of bead aggregation. Discussion. Magnetic and non-magnetic beads performed similarly in P. Falciparum antibody assays. Magnetic beads were more expensive, but had higher bead recovery, were more convenient to use, and provided rapid and easy protocol manipulation. Magnetic beads are a suitable alternative to non-magnetic beads in malarial antibody serology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere6120
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Ondigo et al. All rights reserved.


  • Bio-Plex
  • Magnetic
  • Multiplex
  • Non-magnetic
  • Plasmodium falciparum antigens


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