Transplacental immunization of the human fetus to tetanus by immunization of the mother.
ABSTRACT Experimental studies in rats showed that immunization of the pregnant female led to the transplacental immunization of her fetuses. The possibility that this also occurred in humans was explored by immunizing 42 pregnant women with tetanus toxoid (2.5 or 5 Lf) in the fifth and eighth months of pregnancy and comparing the immune responses of their offspring with the responses of the offspring of 25 unimmunized mothers. Only the offspring of the immunized mothers were sensitized to tetanus. IgM antitetanus antibodies were in their blood before immunization with diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus vaccine (DPT), they had a more rapid (P less than 0.01) response to DPT immunization, and they were still highly sensitized (P less than 0.01) to tetanus 13 mo after birth. In addition, pregnancy had no immunosuppressive effect (P less than 0.05) on the responses of the mothers to tetanus toxoid. Thus, transplacental immunization occurs in humans; it enhances the response of the offspring to subsequent immunization, and it could be used to circumvent the necessity for immunization in early neonatal life.
Article: Pregnancy and helminth infections[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: It has been proposed that helminth infection may be particularly detrimental during pregnancy, through adverse effects on maternal anaemia and on birth outcomes, and that anthelminthic treatment during pregnancy will therefore be particularly beneficial. However, the few treatment trials that have been conducted have given but little support to this notion and further trials in settings of nutritional stress are needed. It has also been proposed that pre-natal exposure to helminth infection has an important effect on the development of the fetal immune response. There is evidence that this may impact, long-term, upon responses to helminth and non-helminth antigens, and to allergens. Exposure to helminths in utero may also have non-specific effects that may modify the offspring's susceptibility to diseases mediated by inflammation, including metabolic disorders. The mechanisms of such effects are not known, but they deserve to be explored since current epidemiological findings suggest the possibility of primary prevention for inflammatory conditions such as allergy, through intervention during pregnancy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.Parasite Immunology 01/2014; 36(8). DOI:10.1111/pim.12101 · 1.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Vaccination during pregnancy results in an augmentation of disease specific maternal antibodies. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is mainly transferred through the placenta during the third trimester of pregnancy, while secretory Immunoglobulin A (sIgA) is passed through breast milk. At birth, newborns are partially protected against infectious diseases by these antibodies. This review aims to provide an overview of the effect of vaccination during pregnancy on the immunological protection of the newborn by the presence of disease specific sIgA antibodies in breast milk and their possible protective function against disease. Our search produced 11 relevant papers; 1 on pertussis, 7 on pneumococcus, 2 on influenza and 1 on meningococcus. All of the studies in this review that measured disease specific antibodies in breast milk (n=8 papers), stressed the beneficial effect of maternal vaccination during pregnancy on the amount of disease specific sIgA in breast milk. Only a few studies demonstrated a potential protective effect, particularly with influenza vaccines. In an era where maternal vaccination is increasingly considered as a valuable strategy to protect both the mother and infant, further research is needed to assess the effect on breast milk sIgA and to understand the potentially beneficial effects to the infant.Vaccine 02/2014; 32(16). DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.01.083 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Parasitic infections are prevalent among pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa. We investigated whether prenatal exposure to malaria and/or helminths affects the pattern of infant immune responses to standard vaccinations against Haemophilus influenzae (Hib), diphtheria (DT), hepatitis B (Hep B) and tetanus toxoid (TT). 450 Kenyan women were tested for malaria, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis (LF), and intestinal helminths during pregnancy. After three standard vaccinations at 6, 10 and 14 weeks, their newborns were followed biannually to age 36 months and tested for absolute levels of IgG against Hib, DT, Hep B, and TT at each time point. Newborns' cord blood (CB) lymphocyte responses to malaria blood-stage antigens, soluble Schistosoma haematobium worm antigen (SWAP), and filaria antigen (BMA) were also assessed. Three immunophenotype categories were compared: i) tolerant (those having Plasmodium-, Schistosoma-, or Wuchereria-infected mothers but lacking respective Th1/Th2-type recall responses at birth to malaria antigens, SWAP, or BMA); ii) sensitized (those with infected/uninfected mothers and detectable Th1/Th2-type CB recall response to respective parasite antigen); or iii) unexposed (no evidence of maternal infection or CB recall response). Overall, 78.9% of mothers were infected with LF (44.7%), schistosomiasis (32.4%), malaria (27.6%) or hookworm (33.8%). Antenatal maternal malaria, LF, and hookworm were independently associated with significantly lower Hib-specific IgG. Presence of multiple maternal infections was associated with lower infant IgG levels against Hib and DT antigens post-vaccination. Post-vaccination IgG levels were also significantly associated with immunophenotype: malaria-tolerized infants had reduced response to DT, whereas filaria-tolerized infants showed reduced response to Hib. There is an impaired ability to develop IgG antibody responses to key protective antigens of Hib and diphtheria in infants of mothers infected with malaria and/or helminths during pregnancy. These findings highlight the importance of control and prevention of parasitic infections among pregnant women.PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 01/2015; 9(1):e0003466. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003466 · 4.49 Impact Factor