Lymphocyte subsets and immunoglobulin profile of preterm neonates

Preterm neonates tend to develop sepsis more often, possibly due to an immature immune system. Literature on lymphocyte subsets and immunoglobulins in preterm neonates has shown varying results. Furthermore, there is scanty literature regarding immuno-globulin and lymphocyte subsets at very low gestation. 

The present study investigated the immunoglobulin profiles and lymphocyte subsets in very preterm neonates at birth, with the view of having clinical implications. It documented the immunological profile of neonates and mothers and lymphocyte subsets at birth. 

The study enrolled consecutively born preterm neonates (26 to 31 weeks gestation), fulfilling the inclusion criteria. It assessed immunoglobulin levels in maternal blood and in cord blood along with T cell subsets. 

The study enrolled 115 neonates. It found the mean cord levels for IgG, IgM, and IgA, respectively, as 5.34, 0.10, and 0.04 g/L and of B, T, NK, and NK-T cells as 14%, 71%, 10%, and 1%, respectively, of the total lymphocyte population. It also found a significantly rising trend in Cord IgG and IgA levels with increasing gestation but not IgM and T cell subsets. Maternal immunoglobulins remained consistent in all gestations. 

This study suggests that the cord IgG and IgA increase with increasing gestation but not IgM in neonates.

Source: Sharma R, Mukhopadhyay K, Rawat A, Suri V, Singh S. Immunoglobulin Profile and Lymphocyte Subsets in Preterm Neonates. Indian Pediatrics. 2022;59.

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