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Open Forum Infect Dis. 2017 Feb 11;4(1):ofx022. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofx022. eCollection 2017 Winter.

Sex Disparity in Cord Blood FoxP3+ CD4 T Regulatory Cells in Infants Exposed to Malaria In Utero.

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Departments of Pediatrics and.
Medicine, University of California-San Francisco.
Infectious Diseases Research Collaboration, Kampala, Uganda.
School of Medicine, Makerere University of College of Health Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda.


Sex differences in the immune response and in infectious disease susceptibility have been well described, although the mechanisms underlying these differences remain incompletely understood. We evaluated the frequency of cord blood CD4 T cell subsets in a highly malaria-exposed birth cohort of mother-infant pairs in Uganda by sex. We found that frequencies of cord blood regulatory T cell ([Treg] CD4+CD25+FoxP3+CD127lo/-) differed by infant sex, with significantly lower frequencies of Tregs in female than in male neonates (P = .006). When stratified by in utero malaria exposure status, this difference was observed in the exposed, but not in the unexposed infants.


T regulatory cells; immunity; malaria; sex; vaccines.

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