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Keywords:

  • Candida antibodies;
  • preterm infants;
  • immunity;
  • infection

ABSTRACT: Although the role of humoral and cell mediated immunity in neonatal defense against Candida infections is not precisely defined, one of the contributing immunologic factors may be a lack of decreased specific passive humoral immunity. Thus, serum samples from the umbilical veins of 98 term gestation and 105 premature neonates (majority <33 wk gestation) and their mothers (n = 100) were tested for the presence of hemagglutinating antibodies to commercially available Candida antigen. The titers of Candida antibodies (mean log2 ± SEM) were significantly higher in 11 term neonates (4.73 ± 0.69) of mothers with high antibody titers (5.18 ± 0.40, <0.001) as contrasted with 87 normal term (2.38 ± 0.15) and 105 premature (2.87 ± 0.15) infants with normal mothers (1.96 ± 0.13 and 3.31 ± 0.26, respectively). Contrary to our belief 81% of term infants and all of the preterm infants (majority <33 wk gestation) had passive specific anti-candida antibody titers <1:16.