Immune System of New Babies Transferred From Mothers: Study
A new study found that mothers transfer antibodies through a vaccine to their infants via the placenta to differentiate between friends and foes.
A new study found that mothers transfer antibodies through a vaccine to their infants via the placenta to differentiate between friends and foes.(Photo: iStockphoto)

Immune System of New Babies Transferred From Mothers: Study

A new study found that mothers transfer antibodies through a vaccine to their infants via the placenta. This helps the newborn immune system to differentiate between friends and foes.

However, the rules by which the placenta transfers the antibodies to the infant is still unknown. If it is discovered, it can help develop other vaccines to help protect the infants from diseases.

In their study, the researchers determined how a pregnant woman’s vaccine-induced immunity is transferred to her infant.

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According to report by The Deccan Chronicle, Galit Alter, co-senior author of the study published in Cell paper said that newborns arrive in the world with brand new immune systems that need to learn to cope up with both harmful and helpful microbes.

The infant can be protected against some diseases like measles with the help of maternal antibodies. But, antibodies for diseases like polio are transferred less efficiently.

To study the process of transfer of antibodies from the mother to the infant, the scientists used a tool called system serology to compare the quantity and quality of antibodies against pertussis in blood samples from mothers and from the umbilical cords.

The umbilical cord carries the blood, nutrients immune factors from the mother’s placenta to the baby.

The research revealed that the placenta transfers antibodies to the infant that activate natural killer cells. These cells are the key elements of the immune system. These cells are the one of the most abundant and functional immune cells during the first days of life.

They found a preference for placental transfer of antibodies that activated the natural killer cells against influenza and respiratory syncytial virus. Both the diseases are very common during childhood.

They identified some features that could regulate placental selection. They also identified features that could be built into next-generation vaccines with improved quality of antibody transfer from the mother to the child.

Also Read : Depression During Pregnancy May Impact Mother-Child Relationship 

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