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Reduced Transplacental Transfer of a Subset of Epstein-Barr Virus-Specific Antibodies to Neonates of Mothers Infected with Plasmodium falciparum Malaria during Pregnancy.

Abstract
Over 35% of children in a region of malaria endemicity are infected with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) by 6 months of age. This susceptibility may be linked to impaired transplacental transfer of antibodies. In this study, we determined the effect of malaria exposure during pregnancy on the transfer of EBV-specific maternal antibodies in a region of western Kenya that experiences endemic malaria. Pregnant mothers were recruited and followed up until delivery to determine levels of neonatal malaria exposure. Levels of EBV lytic (viral capsid antigen [VCA], Z transcriptional activator [Zta], and early diffuse antigen complex [EAd]) and EBV latent (EBV nuclear antigen-1 (EBNA1]) and tetanus-specific IgG antibodies were measured in 70 paired maternal and cord blood samples using a Luminex-bead-based assay. A high proportion (63%) of the infants were exposed to malaria in utero. Levels of EBV- and tetanus-specific antibodies were similar in malaria-infected mothers and in mothers who had no detectable malaria infection. Malaria-exposed neonates had significantly lower levels of anti-EBNA1, anti-Zta, and anti-EAd antibodies than were seen in their mothers. In utero malaria exposure resulted in significant reductions in transplacental transfer of anti-VCA-p18 and anti-EBNA1 antibodies of 13% and 22%, respectively. Neonates received significantly low levels of anti-Zta and anti-EAd antibodies irrespective of malaria exposure levels. In multivariate analysis, in utero malaria exposure was associated with a significant reduction in the transfer of anti-VCA-p18 and anti-EBNA1 antibodies to the neonates (P = 0.0234 and P = 0.0017, respectively). Malaria during pregnancy results in differential levels of transfer of EBV-specific antibodies from the mother to the fetus. The impaired transplacental transfer of some antibodies may lead to the malaria-exposed neonates being susceptible to early EBV infection.
AuthorsSidney Ogolla, Ibrahim I Daud, Amolo S Asito, Odada P Sumba, Collins Ouma, John Vulule, Jaap M Middeldorp, Arlene E Dent, Saurabh Mehta, Rosemary Rochford
JournalClinical and vaccine immunology : CVI (Clin Vaccine Immunol) Vol. 22 Issue 11 Pg. 1197-205 (Nov 2015) ISSN: 1556-679X [Electronic] United States
PMID26376931 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
CopyrightCopyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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