[Immunology] Re: Immuno Digest, Vol 40, Issue 2

Chris Hall via immuno%40net.bio.net (by chall from berry.edu)
Sat Dec 13 13:09:32 EST 2008

That seems unlikely given that throughout late fetal gestation, antibodies
are being passed from mother to fetus, not to mention post-partum transfer
through colostrum. The potential for a damaging host vs. graft reaction
through immune complex formation would be of concern in removal were through
acquired immune mechanisms.
Maybe they had in mind innate phagocytosis?
I'll be interested in hearing other opinions.

> From: <immuno-request from oat.bio.indiana.edu>
> Reply-To: <immuno from oat.bio.indiana.edu>
> Date: Sat, 13 Dec 2008 12:03:48 -0500 (EST)
> To: <immuno from magpie.bio.indiana.edu>
> Subject: Immuno Digest, Vol 40, Issue 2
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> Today's Topics:
>    1. What causes maternal antibodies to break down in a newborn?
>       (Alan Bradbury)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2008 09:36:26 -0000
> From: "Alan Bradbury" <abradbury from taptonschool.co.uk>
> Subject: [Immunology] What causes maternal antibodies to break down in
> a newborn?
> To: <immuno from magpie.bio.indiana.edu>
> Message-ID: <A7F1BA1B07FDD941802C15701C0C198816FA5B from extap.tapton.net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> I hope somebody can help with this.
> A recent exam question for A level (16-18 year olds) in the UK had a question
> asking why passive immunity in newborns is short lived.  The answer expected
> was that a newborn will recognise the maternal antibodies as foreign and have
> an immune response to them.  This just didn't sound right to me. I have tried
> to do some internet research on the question and it seems that the half-life
> of maternal antibodies is about 30 - 45 days. But I have not been able to find
> out what causes the removal of the maternal antibodies. I had assumed that it
> was just due to the natural turnover and breakdown of the antibodies that the
> infant might receive from its mother.
> Am I right, or is the exam answer right?
> Alan Bradbury (A level Biology teacher, UK).
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