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Recent data indicate increasing disease burden and importance of Plasmodium vivax (Pv) malaria. A robust assay will be essential for blood-stage Pv vaccine development. Results of the in vitro growth inhibition assay (GIA) with transgenic P. knowlesi (Pk) parasites expressing the Pv Duffy-binding protein region II (PvDBPII) correlate with in vivo protection in the first PvDBPII controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) trials, making the PkGIA an ideal selection tool once the precision of the assay is defined. To determine the precision in percentage of inhibition in GIA (%GIA) and in GIA50 (antibody concentration that gave 50 %GIA), ten GIAs with transgenic Pk parasites were conducted with four different anti-PvDBPII human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) at concentrations of 0.016 to 2 mg/mL, and three GIAs with eighty anti-PvDBPII human polyclonal antibodies (pAbs) at 10 mg/mL. A significant assay-to-assay variation was observed, and the analysis revealed a standard deviation (SD) of 13.1 in the mAb and 5.94 in the pAb dataset for %GIA, with a LogGIA50 SD of 0.299 (for mAbs). Moreover, the ninety-five percent confidence interval (95 %CI) for %GIA or GIA50 in repeat assays was calculated in this investigation. The error range determined in this study will help researchers to compare PkGIA results from different assays and studies appropriately, thus supporting the development of future blood-stage malaria vaccine candidates, specifically second-generation PvDBPII-based formulations.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Building, Oxford OX1 3QU, United Kingdom; Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery, University of Oxford, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Building, Oxford OX1 3QU, United Kingdom; Institute for Infection Research and Vaccine Development (IIRVD), University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.