Maternal fetal immunological relationship particularly mycobacterial immunity.

Sarala Rajajee; Sundareswar,S.

Indian Paediatrics; 1991; 28; 363-366.

Thirty nine paired maternal and cord blood from normal full term deliveries were tested for lymphocyte function by prolilferative response to mitogens Phytohaemagglutinin-P (PHA) and Poke weed mitogens (PWM). Monocyte function was assessed by the ability of the monocytes to release hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) in response to standard stimulus (PMA). Mycobacterial immunity was assessed by lymphocyte proliferative response to purified proteins derivative (PPD) and IgM and IgG antibody response to H 37 Rv and 5 atypical mycobacteria.

Lymphocyte functions were significantly lower in cord blood (PHA 20.6, PWM 21.2) as compared with maternal blood (PHA 65.8, PWM 37.8). The capacity of fetal monocytes to release (H 2 O 2 ) was comparable to maternal monocytes. The mean proliferative response of fetal lymphocytes to tubercular protein (PPD) was 0.67 as compared k (p < 0.01) to maternal lymphocytes (3.79). Nearly 86% of the cord blood did not show any response to PPD. None of the cord blood showed IgM antibody response to H 37 Rv nor to any of the range of 5 atypical mycobacteria although maternal IgM and IgG response was present. There was only passive transfer of IgG antibody from mother to fetus.

Hence, though this is a highly endemic area for atypical mycobacteria and M. tuberculosis , there was apparently no transsplacental transfer of antigen in normal sensitized mothers.


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