Transfer of Tuberculin Immunity from Mother to Infant

  • Margaret A. Keller
  • Annette L. Rodriguez
  • Sarah Alvarez
  • Noel C. Wheeler
  • Diane Reisinger


Previous investigators (1–3) have suggested that tuberculin immunity may be transferred from the mother to the infant via human milk, but other investigators (4–5) have found transplacental transfer of immunity. The purpose of our study was to examine transfer of tuberculin immunity by studying newborn lymphocyte blastogenesis induced by PPD antigen at 1–5 days of age, 4–6 weeks of age and 3 months of age. We also examined lymphokine production by neonatal lymphocytes as another index of tuberculin immunity. For this purpose we studied PPD-induced monocyte chemotactic factor production by lymphocytes from infants 4–6 weeks of age. In an attempt to define the mechanism of transfer of immunity, we studied male infants of tuberculin positive breast-feeding mothers at 4–6 weeks of age and examined the sex chromosomes of lymphocytes dividing in response to PPD-stimulation. This sex determination would identify blastogenic lymphocytes as either of maternal or newborn origin.


Breast Milk Maternal Cell UCLA School Transplacental Transfer Chemotactic Index 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret A. Keller
    • 1
  • Annette L. Rodriguez
    • 1
  • Sarah Alvarez
    • 1
  • Noel C. Wheeler
    • 1
    • 2
  • Diane Reisinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUCLA School of Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical CenterTorranceUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiomathematicsUCLA School of MedicineUSA

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