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Clin Perinatol. 2010 Jun;37(2):307-37. doi: 10.1016/j.clp.2010.04.001.

Role of innate host defenses in susceptibility to early-onset neonatal sepsis.

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  • 1Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Duke University, 2424 Hock Plaza, Suite 504, DUMC Box 2739, Durham, NC 27710, USA. james.wynn@duke.edu <james.wynn@duke.edu>

Abstract

Neonatal sepsis continues to take a devastating toll globally. Although adequate to protect against invasive infection in most newborns, the distinct function of neonatal innate host defense coupled with impairments in adaptive immune responses increases the likelihood of acquiring infection early in life, with subsequent rapid dissemination and death. Unique differences exist between neonates and older populations with respect to the capacity, quantity, and quality of innate host responses to pathogens. Recent characterization of the age-dependent maturation of neonatal innate immune function has identified novel translational approaches that may lead to improved diagnostic, prophylactic, and therapeutic modalities.

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