Maternal Immunization

Clin Infect Dis. 1999 Feb;28(2):219-24. doi: 10.1086/515122.

Abstract

Maternal immunization can enhance passive immunity of infants to pathogens that cause life-threatening illnesses. In most instances, immunization during pregnancy will provide important protection for the woman as well as for her offspring. The tetanus toxoid and influenza vaccines are examples of vaccines that provide a double benefit. Other vaccines under evaluation include those for respiratory syncytial virus, pneumococci, group B streptococci, and Haemophilus influenzae type b. Although most IgG antibody crosses the placenta in the third trimester, the process is time-dependent, dictating that immunization should be accomplished ideally at least 6 weeks prior to delivery. IgG1 antibodies are transferred preferentially. Maternal immunization has not interfered with active immunization of the infant. Inactivated vaccines administered in the third trimester of pregnancy pose no known risk to the woman or to her fetus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Capsules
  • Bordetella pertussis / immunology
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Female
  • Haemophilus Vaccines / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Maternally-Acquired / immunology*
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / immunology
  • Pregnancy
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / immunology
  • Streptococcus agalactiae / immunology
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae / immunology
  • Vaccination*

Substances

  • Haemophilus Vaccines
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b polysaccharide vaccine
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial