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  • Added 28 Oct 2014
  • Expires

Enhancing Infant Immunity: Effect of Early Maternal Treatment for Parasitic Infections


We aim to determine how the immunomodulatory effects of maternal parasite infections are linked to reduced vaccine efficacy and whether antenatal anti-parasite treatment can reverse this effect. We hypothesize that: 1) lack of adequate immune response to vaccination in early childhood is due to fetal priming by soluble antigens from chronic parasitic infection in the mother; 2) the mechanism by which this effect occurs is immunotolerance induced by such fetal priming; 3) the offspring’s immunotolerant immune phenotype is long-lasting and persists beyond infancy into late childhood, but boosting may offset this effect on immunization; and 4) treatment of antenatal infections can lead to improvement in the offspring’s immune function. . This study has been listed on the Link Registry (http://www.linkregistry.org)

Inclusion Criteria

At least ≥15 years of age. Willingness to provide informed consent. Current pregnancy. Apparent good health. Long-term resident in Msambweni locations who anticipates residing in the area during the study period (at least 3 years). Willingness to donate blood (peripheral venous blood or finger stick blood as per the protocol) during ANC visits and at the time of delivery. Willingness to share with the research team, on a confidential basis, her human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing results from the ANC-linked voluntary counseling and treatment (VCT) program. Willingness of the infant’s mother to participate in prenatal and postnatal care at Msambweni District Hospital. Willingness of the mother/caregivers to participate in a prospective survey that involves bi-annual venipuncture (3-5 mL blood volume) of the infant commencing at 6 months (plus or minus 2 months of age) and ending at age 36 months. Multiple births can be included. Pregnant women will be allowed to enroll irrespective of their gestational age, although they cannot enroll at delivery because they cannot undergo adequate consent


Charles H. King MD, Professor of International Health, Center for Global Health and Diseases Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, chk@cwru.edu, 216-368-3667

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