Parasitic infections in pregnancy decrease placental transfer of antipneumococcus antibodies

Noah D. McKittrick, David M. Vu, Indu Malhotra, Charles H. King, Francis Mutuku, A. Desiree LaBeaud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Many factors can influence maternal placental antibody transfer to the fetus, which confers important immune protection to the newborn infant. However, little is known about the effect of maternal parasitic infection on placental antibody transfer. To investigate this, we selected from a parent study of 576 pregnant Kenyan women four groups of women with term deliveries (37 weeks), including uninfected women (n 30) and women with solo infections with malaria (n 30), hookworm (n 30), or schistosomiasis (n 10). Maternal plasma at delivery and infant cord blood were tested via multiplex fluorescent bead assay for IgG against 10 pneumococcal serotypes (PnPs 1, 4, 5, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19F, and 23F), diphtheria toxoid, and Haemophilus influenzae type B. Infants born to mothers with prenatal malaria, hookworm, or Schistosoma haematobium infections were associated with a significantly reduced ratio of maternal to infant cord blood antibody concentration for Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes 1, 4, 5, 6B, 7F, 9V, and 18C compared to infants of uninfected mothers. Anti-diphtheria toxoid and anti-H. influenzae type B IgG ratios were not significantly different among infection groups. Prenatal parasitic infections decrease the transfer of maternal IgG antibodies to infants for several serotypes of S. pneumoniae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00039-17
JournalClinical and Vaccine Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Humoral immunity
  • Parasites
  • Placental antibody transfer
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (medical)


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