T cell-mediated immune responses in human newborns: ready to learn?

Clin Exp Immunol. 2005 Jul;141(1):10-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2005.02799.x.


Infections with intracellular pathogens are often more severe or more prolonged in young infants suggesting that T cell-mediated immune responses are different in early life. Whereas neonatal immune responses have been quite extensively studied in murine models, studies of T cell-mediated immunity in human newborns and infants are scarce. Qualitative and quantitative differences when compared with adult immune responses have been observed but on the other hand mature responses to certain vaccines and infectious pathogens were demonstrated during the postnatal period and even during foetal life. Herein, we review the evidence suggesting that under appropriate conditions of stimulation, protective T cell-mediated immune responses could be induced by vaccines in early life.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Infant, Newborn / immunology*
  • Infections / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Vaccines / immunology


  • Vaccines