African Health Sciences

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The effects of maternal haemoglobin as an indicator of maternal nutritional status on, maternal measles antibodies of mother-infant pairs at birth

UA Baba, GM Ashir, Y Mava, MS Gimba, R Abubakar, JP Ambe


Background: Maternal measles antibodies (MMA) are actively transferred through the placenta from mother to foetus. A relationship could exist between MMA of mother-infant pairs and maternal nutritional indicator (haemoglobin).
Objectives: This study reviewed the effects of maternal haemoglobin (Hb) on MMA of mother-infant pairs at birth.
Methods: One hundred and fifty three mother-infant pairs were enrolled in this study using the systematic random sampling method. Means of maternal Hb and MMA of mother-infant pairs were compared using the Student t test. Correlation coefficients of maternal Hb and MMA of mother-infant pairs were also determined. Multivariate analysis of variable (MANOVA) and covariates (MANCOVA) was used to investigate the effects of maternal Hb (fixed factor), gestational age, maternal age, birth weight (covariates) on combined MMA of mother-infant pairs (dependent factors). Benferroni adjusted Univariate linear regression was used to investigate the dependent variables separately. Results: There were 78 (51%) males and 75 (49%) females. The (mean ± SD) MMA of mother-infant pairs at birth were 134.66 ± 93.31 (95% CI, 119.76 – 149.56) U/ml, and 187.49 ± 85.01 (95% CI, 173.91 - 201.07) U/ml, and their correlation was significant (p = 0.025). Ninety one (59.5 %) mothers had low Hb, 62 (40.5 %) had acceptable Hb levels. The overall mean maternal Hb was 11.01 ± 1.00 (95% CI, 10.85 – 11.17) g/dl . A positive significant correlation was observed between maternal Hb and MMA of the newborn-infant (p = 0.031). The MANOVA showed a statistically significant difference between maternal Hb on the combined dependent variables (p =0.033); however, results for the dependent variables using the Benferroni adjusted Univariate analysis was significant for only MMA of the infants, (p = 0.009).
Conclusion: There was a significant association between aacceptable levels of maternal Hb and high MMA of the newborninfants. Therefore, these newborn infants start out with higher MMA that could give them better protection against measles during infancy.

Keywords: Maternal haemoglobin, maternal measles antibodies, Maiduguri, Nigeria

African Health Sciences 2013; 13(4): 940 - 946
AJOL African Journals Online