Evidence for In Utero Sensitization to Ascaris lumbricoides in Newborns of Mothers with Ascariasis

Laboratorio de Investigaciones FEPIS, Quinindé, Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 6). 07/2009; 199(12):1846-50. DOI: 10.1086/599214
Source: PubMed


Ascaris lumbricoides infections in humans may have important effects on the development of allergy and on susceptibility to infectious diseases that start during early life. To investigate whether sensitization to A. lumbricoides occurs in utero, we measured interferon (IFN)-gamma and interleukin (IL)-4 responses in A. lumbricoides antigen-stimulated cord blood from newborns of infected and noninfected mothers by flow cytometry. There was evidence of higher frequencies of IFN-gamma-expressing and IL-4-expressing CD4+ T cells in newborns of infected mothers than in newborns of noninfected mothers. Our data provide evidence of in utero sensitization to A. lumbricoides and raise the possibility that the immunological effects of infection start in the fetus.

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    • "Effects can be specific to the infectious agent or general modulation of the host immune system. Infection with helminths such as Wuchereria bancrofti (80–82) and Ascaris lumbricoides (83, 84) results in increased risk of post-partum infection in early life. Active helminth infection also has non-specific general effects on host immunity that enable continued parasitic evasion of host defenses. "
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