The Antigen-specific Immune Response Against Malaria Acquired During Foetal Development – Dr Samuel Tassi Yunga, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Original Article Reference
This SciPod is a summary of ‘Timing of the human prenatal antibody response to Plasmodium falciparum antigens’ published in the open access journal PLOS ONE.
About this episode
It is currently unknown at what point during development a human foetus can recognise antigens as foreign and produce an acquired immune response. The foetus is not usually exposed to pathogens but remains relatively protected in the uterus by the placenta, and contact with allergens, viral antigens, and so on, is fairly rare. Malaria, however, causes significant placental infection and inflammation. In regions where malaria is endemic, the foetus can be exposed to malaria parasites and their antigens from their infected mothers repeatedly during pregnancy. Dr Samuel Tassi Yunga and his collaborators from The University of Hawaii at Manoa in the USA, and the Biotechnology Center in Yaounde Cameroon, recently analysed the levels of antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum in newborn Cameroonian babies to determine the timing of antibody response during prenatal development. Results provide both basic and clinically relevant information.
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