Lower transplacental antibody transport for measles, mumps, rubella and varicella zoster in very preterm infants

Jolice P. van den Berg, Elisabeth A. M. Westerbeek, Gaby P. Smits, Fiona R. M. van der Klis, Guy A. M. Berbers, Ruurd M. van Elburg

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Maternal antibodies, transported over the placenta during pregnancy, contribute to the protection of infants from infectious diseases during the first months of life. In term infants, this protection does not last until the first recommended measles-mumps-rubella vaccination at 14 months in the Netherlands, while these viruses still circulate. The aim of the study was to investigate the antibody concentration against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) in mothers and preterm infants or healthy term infants at birth. Antibody concentrations specific for MMRV were measured in cord blood samples from preterm (gestational age <32 weeks and/or birth weight <1500 g) and term infants, and matched maternal serum samples, using a fluorescent bead-based multiplex immune-assay. Due to lower placental transfer ratios of antibodies against MMRV in 96 preterm infants (range 0.75-0.87) compared to 42 term infants (range 1.39-1.65), the preterm infants showed 1.7-2.5 times lower geometric mean concentrations at birth compared to term infants. Maternal antibody concentration is the most important determinant of infant antibody concentration against MMRV. Preterm infants benefit to a lesser extent from maternal antibodies against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella than term infants, posing them even earlier at risk for infectious diseases caused by these still circulating viruses
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere94714
Pages (from-to)e94714
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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