Placental antibody transfer: influence of maternal HIV infection and placental malaria

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Abstract

Aim

To determine the influence of placental malaria, maternal HIV infection, and maternal hypergammaglobulinaemia on transplacental IgG antibody transfer.

Methods

One hundred and eighty materno-neonatal pairs from a Malawian population were assessed. Cord and maternal serum samples were tested for total serum IgG antibody titres using nephelometry, and for specific IgG antibody titres to Streptococcus pneumoniae, measles, and tetanus toxoid antibodies using an enzyme linked immunsorbent assay (ELISA).

Results

Multiple regression analyses showed that placental malaria was associated with a decrease in placental IgG antibody transfer to S pneumoniae and measles to 82% and 81%, respectively. Maternal HIV infection was associated with a reduction in IgG antibody transfer to S pneumoniae to 79%; raised maternal total serum IgG titres were correlated with S pneumoniae and measles IgG antibody transfer reduction to 86% and 87%, respectively. No effect was seen with tetanus toxoid antibody transfer.

Conclusion

The combined influence of placental malaria, maternal HIV infection, and maternal hypergammaglobulinaemia seems to be linked to the low transplacental antibody transfer observed in the Malawian population.

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