Influence of Maternal Characteristics during Pregnancy on the Infant Early Life Immune Responses in a High HIV Burdened Setting in Harare, Zimbabwe

Agness Farai Nhidza, Thajasvarie Naicker, Babill Stray-Pedersen, Felicity Gumbo, Tawanda Chisango, Edson Sibanda, Gwendoline Kandawasvika, Aziah Ismail, Tsitsi Bandason, Curtis Makaza, Kerina Duri, Takafira Mduluza


This study aimed at investigating the maternal characteristics that in turn influence the immunological status of infants in asymptomatic enteric pathogen carriers in mother baby pairs (MBPs) in a high HIV burdened population in Harare, Zimbabwe. BIOPLEX immunoassay was used to analyse serum samples from 39 MBPs for 27 cytokines and 6 immunoglobulins. The MBP were purposively selected based on HIV infection and Entamoeba histolytica carriage. Logistic regression was used to identify any link between maternal demographic and clinical data with infant cytokine and immunoglobulin levels. Maternal E. histolytica carriers were more likely to have infants with low levels of IL-12p70, FGF-basic, GM-CSF and TNF-α cytokines (OR: 0.14; 95% CI: 0.03-0.79) and high levels of IgA immunoglobulin (OR: 8.1; 95% CI: 1.45-45.06). HIV infected mothers were more likely to have infants with low levels of IgG2 (OR:  0.24; 95% CI: 0.06-1.00) and IgA (OR: 0.22; 95% CI: 0.05-0.90) immunoglobulins. Notably, it was highly likely to deliver infants with low IgG4 levels (OR:  0.24; 95% CI: 0.06-1.02) for maternal mean age above 30.38 years (Standard deviation 6.09) though not significant (p=0.05). MaternalE. histolytica asymptomatic carriage, and HIV-infection status result in low levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-12p70, FGF-basic, GM-CSF and TNF-α and immunoglobulins IgG2, IgG4 and IgA on their infants.(Afr J Reprod Health 2018; 22[3]:43-50).

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