Journal Article

Maternal Immunization

W. Paul Glezen and Michael Alpers

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 28, issue 2, pages 219-224
Published in print February 1999 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online February 1999 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/515122
Maternal Immunization

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Maternal immunization can enhance passive immunity of infants to pathogens that cause life-threatening illnesses. In most instances, immunization during pregnancy will provide important protection for the woman as well as for her offspring. The tetanus toxoid and influenza vaccines are examples of vaccines that provide a double benefit. Other vaccines under evaluation include those for respiratory syncytial virus, pneumococci, group B streptococci, and Haemophilus influenzae type b. Although most IgG antibody crosses the placenta in the third trimester, the process is timedependent, dictating that immunization should be accomplished ideally at least 6 weeks prior to delivery. IgG1 antibodies are transferred preferentially. Maternal immunization has not interfered with active immunization of the infant. Inactivated vaccines administered in the third trimester of pregnancy pose no known risk to the woman or to her fetus.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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