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Effect of Plasmodium Infection during Pregnancy on Passive Neonatal Immunity against Tetanus Toxoid and Rotavirus

Catalina Álvarez-LarrottaGrupo Salud y Comunidad, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia,

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Olga M. AgudeloGrupo Salud y Comunidad, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia,

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Kenneth GavinaDepartment of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada;

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Stephanie K. YanowDepartment of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada;
School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

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Jaime Carmona-FonsecaGrupo Salud y Comunidad, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia,

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E. ArangoGrupo Salud y Comunidad, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia,

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ABSTRACT.

Passive immunity acquired through transplacental IgG transport is essential to protect infants against pathogens as childhood vaccination programs begins. Diarrhea caused by rotavirus and neonatal tetanus are common and potentially fatal childhood infections that can be prevented by transplacental IgG. However, it is not known whether maternal infections in pregnancy can reduce the transfer of these antibodies to the fetus. This study evaluated the effect of submicroscopic Plasmodium infection during pregnancy on the transfer of maternal IgG antibodies against rotavirus (anti-RV) and tetanus toxoid (anti-TT) to newborns of pregnant women residing in Puerto Libertador and Tierralta, Colombia. Expression of different immune mediators and levels of IgG against rotavirus and tetanus toxoid were quantified in pregnant women with and without Plasmodium infection during pregnancy. Submicroscopic infection at the time of delivery was associated with a cord-to-maternal ratio (CMR) > 1 for anti-RV and < 1 for anti-TT IgG, as well as with an increase in the expression of immune mediators of inflammation (IFN-γ), anti-inflammation (IL-10, TGF-β), and regulation (FoxP3, CTLA-4). When compared by species, these findings (CMR > 1 for anti-RV and < 1 for anti-TT IgG) were conserved in submicroscopic Plasmodium vivax infections at delivery. The impact of Plasmodium infections on neonatal susceptibility to other infections warrants further exploration.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Catalina Álvarez-Larrotta, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Antioquia, Calle 67 No. 53-108, Oficina 336. E-mail: catalinaalvarezl95@gmail.com

Financial support: This work was supported by the Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Inovación Colciencias (Project Code 111574454975).

Authors’ addresses: Catalina Alvarez-Larrotta, Jaime Carmona-Fonseca, Olga M. Agudelo-García and Eliana M. Arango, Grupo Salud y Comunidad-César Uribe Piedrahíta, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia, E-mail: catalinaalvarezl95@gmail.com, jaimecarmonaf@hotmail.com, momag204@gmail.com and emarango@gmail.com. Kenneth Gavina, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, E-mail: gavinakc@gmail.com. Stephanie Yanow, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada E-mail: yanow@ualberta.ca.

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