Author(s): Basha S, Surendran N, Pichichero M
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Abstract Neonates have little immunological memory and a developing immune system, which increases their vulnerability to infectious agents. Recent advances in the understanding of neonatal immunity indicate that both innate and adaptive responses are dependent on precursor frequency of lymphocytes, antigenic dose and mode of exposure. Studies in neonatal mouse models and human umbilical cord blood cells demonstrate the capability of neonatal immune cells to produce immune responses similar to adults in some aspects but not others. This review focuses mainly on the developmental and functional mechanisms of the human neonatal immune system. In particular, the mechanism of innate and adaptive immunity and the role of neutrophils, antigen presenting cells, differences in subclasses of T lymphocytes (Th1, Th2, Tregs) and B cells are discussed. In addition, we have included the recent developments in the neonatal mouse immune system. Understanding neonatal immunity is essential to development of therapeutic vaccines to combat newly emerging infectious agents.
This article was published in Expert Rev Clin Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Infectious Diseases & Preventive Medicine