Maternal antibody and respiratory syncytial virus infection in infancy

J Med Virol. 1981;7(4):263-71. doi: 10.1002/jmv.1890070403.


One hundred newborn infants were studied prospectively for 1 year for evidence of infection with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The indirect membrane fluorescence technique was used to determine specific antibody in sera. Infection was shown in 29 cases. In 31 infants exposed to an RSV epidemic season, there was no evidence of infection. Maternal antenatal sera were also tested, and wide range of IgG antibody to RSV was found. Mean titre of maternal IgG antibody to RSV was significantly higher (P less than 0.001) in those mothers whose babies remained uninfected than in those whose babies had proved RSV infection before 6 months of age. Babies born to mothers with high levels of IgG antibody to respiratory syncytial virus were protected against infection with this virus during the first months of life when the risk of severe disease was greatest.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis*
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Maternally-Acquired
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / immunology*
  • Respirovirus Infections / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G