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Br Med J. 1980 May 24;280(6226):1249-51.

Humoral immune response in children with iron-deficiency anaemia.


The humoral immune response (as shown by plasma immunoglobulin concentrations and antibody response to diphtheria and tetanus toxoids) was evaluated in 14 children with iron-deficiency anaemia and in 24 normal controls. Mean concentrations of haemoglobin and serum iron and mean transferrin saturation were significantly lower in children with iron-deficiency anaemia than in controls. Serum immunoglobulin concentrations were within the normal range in both groups. Two weeks after immunisation with diphtheria and tetanus toxoids the concentrations of IgG increased significantly in both groups. Antibody titres in iron-deficient children were similar to those of controls before and after immunisation. The mean T-lymphocyte count was significantly lower in iron-deficient children than that in controls, but the mean B-lymphocyte counts were similar in the two groups. These observations suggest that humoral immunity in children is not affected by iron deficiency and that conventional immunisation programmes would be effective in children with iron-deficiency anaemia.

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