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BMC Infect Dis. 2012 Jan 14;12:6. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-12-6.

Placental malaria is associated with attenuated CD4 T-cell responses to tuberculin PPD 12 months after BCG vaccination.

Author information

  • 1MRC Laboratories Gambia, PO Box 273, Banjul, Gambia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Placental malaria (PM) is associated with prenatal malaise, but many PM+ infants are born without symptoms. As malaria has powerful immunomodulatory effects, we tested the hypothesis that PM predicts reduced T-cell responses to vaccine challenge.

METHODS:

We recruited healthy PM+ and PM- infants at birth. At six and 12 months, we stimulated PBMCs with tuberculin purified protein derivative (PPD) and compared expression of CD154, IL-2 and IFNγ by CD4 T-cells to a negative control using flow cytometry.We measured the length, weight and head circumference at birth and 12 months.

RESULTS:

IL-2 and CD154 expression were low in both groups at both timepoints, without discernable differences. Expression of IFNγ was similarly low at 6 months but by 12 months, the median response was higher in PM- than PM + infants (p = 0.026). The PM+ infants also had a lower weight (p = 0.032) and head circumference (p = 0.041) at 12 months, indicating lower growth rates.At birth, the size and weight of the PM+ and PM- infants were equivalent. By 12 months, the PM+ infants had a lower weight and head circumference than the PM- infants.

CONCLUSIONS:

Placental malaria was associated with reduced immune responses 12 months after immune challenge in infants apparently healthy at birth.

PMID:
22243970
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3274427
Free PMC Article

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