Annals of Ibadan Postgraduate Medicine

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Serum total IgG and tetanus specific IgG in Nigerian human immunodeficiency virus infected primigravidae and the cord blood of their babies at birth

M.O. Fatokun, O.O. Enabor, F.A. Bello, O.A. Adesina, G.O. Arinola


Background: HIV infection affects millions of women and children, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Tetanus also causes significant maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Since the main effect of HIV is immunosuppression, there is potential for a negative influence the host immune response to tetanus in women with HIV.

Objective: This case-control study evaluated the effect of HIV infection on maternal tetanus antibody production and neonatal tetanus antibody levels.

Methods: Thirty registered primigravidae were recruited from the clinic;15 were HIV positive and 15 were HIV negative. Serum samples of maternal and cord blood were obtained from both groups at delivery. Maternal total IgG and cord blood tetanus-specific antibody were estimated by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay.

Results: There was no significant difference in the total IgG level of HIV positive mothers compared with HIV negative mothers. No significant difference in the tetanus-specific IgG level in the cord blood of babies of HIV positive mothers compared with cord blood of babies of the HIV negative mothers.

Conclusion: HIV infection did not significantly reduce total IgG production in Nigerian primigravidae. Tetanus-specific IgG levels were above protective levels in neonates of HIV positive mothers suggesting adequate protection.

Keywords: Tetanus, Antibody, Pregnancy, Immunisation, HIV

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