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Prevalence of respiratory syncytial virus IgG antibodies in infants living in a rural area of Mozambique

Lookup NU author(s): Fiona Fenwick, Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Toms


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A case control study was carried out in Manhiça (Mozambique). Serum samples were collected from infants < 1 year of age in hospital to assess the effect of serum antibodies on the incidence of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. Sera were collected from a total of 31 cases of RSV infection and paired uninfected controls matched for age and sex. Anti-RSV antibodies were assessed by a membrane fluorescent antibody test (MFAT) for immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies and by a neutralizing antibody test. IgG RSV antibodies were of higher prevalence and at higher levels in the control group when compared to the infected case group (P < 0.001), indicating an important role for IgG antibodies in protection. To assess infection before recruitment, IgA RSV antibodies were also measured by MFAT. IgA RSV antibody prevalence was very low in patients and controls (0/31 and 4/31 respectively), suggesting that most of the detected IgG RSV antibody in both groups was of maternal origin. Re-analysis of data from the subset of 27 matched, IgA RSV antibody negative infant pairs mirrored the full analysis indicating that maternal antibody has an important role in RSV protection. Similar results were obtained when neutralizing antibodies were measured and when the measurement was done against subgroup A virus strain A2, subgroup B virus strain 8/60 and a contemporary subgroup A isolate, MozOO. No significant differences in the reactivity of maternal antibodies with the three virus strains were observed. The data described below represent the first analysis of the role of maternal antibodies in reducing the risk of pediatric infection in developing countries. The results reinforce the concept of maternal vaccination for the control of RSV in very young children in whom the risk and severity of infection are the highest. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Roca A, Abacassamo F, Loscertales M-P, Quinto L, Gomez-Olive X, Fenwick F, Saiz JC, Toms G, Alonso PL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Medical Virology

Year: 2002

Volume: 67

Issue: 4

Pages: 616-623

ISSN (print): 0146-6615

ISSN (electronic): 1096-9071

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


DOI: 10.1002/jmv.10148

PubMed id: 12116014


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