Neonatal Immunology

Like many other systems in the body, the immune system is not fully developed and functional at birth and therefore infants and children are at a higher risk of developing infections. At the same time, the act of being born – moving from the sterile environment of the womb to the wider world, exposes us to a whole range of pathogens that we have never encountered and have no protection against. To supplement this period of immune immaturity and reduce the risk of infection, the mother transfers passive protection to the child, mainly in the form of antibodies.

 

  The immune response in early life is lower compared to adults. This is caused due to the immunosuppressive environment of the womb. Speculatively though it may also be an adaption to the exposure to larger amounts of new antigens in early life. The immune response is carefully regulated to ensure appropriate levels of immune response but avoiding inflammatory responses to benign or harmless antigens. Since there are more new antigens in early life, it may be that the response is suppressed.                        

  • Embryology
  • Fetal development
  • Antibodies
  • Neonatal vaccines
  • Neonatal hypoglycemia

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Neonatal Immunology Conference Speakers

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