Maternofetal transfer of IgG anti-Escherichia coli antibodies with enhanced avidity and opsonic activity in very premature neonates

Pediatr Res. 1990 Apr;27(4 Pt 1):365-71. doi: 10.1203/00006450-199004000-00009.


Total IgG concentrations, IgG antibody concentrations to pooled Escherichia coli antigens, and IgG anti-E. coli antibody avidity were measured in cord and maternal serum samples collected from 52 mother-infant pairs after premature delivery (mean gestational age 28 wk, range 23-33 wk). The mean IgG anti-E. coli antibody concentration in cord serum (1.86 relative units/mL) was markedly lower than in maternal serum (5.42 relative units/mL) at this gestation (p less than 0.0001). Cord serum IgG anti-E. coli antibody concentrations correlated closely with maternal IgG anti-E. coli concentrations when controlled for the effect of gestational age (partial correlation coefficient 0.89; p less than 0.001) but only weakly with gestational age when controlled for maternal IgG antibody concentrations (partial correlation coefficient 0.23; p = 0.06). The mean ratio of cord to maternal IgG anti-E. coli antibody concentrations was considerably lower than the mean ratio for total IgG concentrations (0.34 versus 0.72; p less than 0.001). The mean avidity of IgG antibody for the pooled E. coli antigens was significantly greater in cord serum than in maternal serum (2.45 versus 1.99M; p less than 0.0001). There was a close correlation between cord and maternal antibody avidity (r = 0.70; p less than 0.001), but cord IgG antibody avidity did not correlate with gestational age (r = -0.07; p = 0.61), nor with cord IgG anti-E. coli antibody concentrations (r = 0.10; p = 0.50).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / metabolism*
  • Antibody Affinity
  • Escherichia coli / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin M / metabolism
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / immunology*
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange / immunology*
  • Opsonin Proteins / metabolism
  • Pregnancy


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Opsonin Proteins