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