The transfer and decay of maternal antibody against Shigella sonnei in a longitudinal cohort of Vietnamese infants

Corinne N Thompson, Le Thi Phuong Tu, Katherine L. Anders, Nguyen Trong Hieu, Lu Lan Vi, Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, Vu Thuy Duong, Nguyen Ngoc Minh Chau, Tran Thi Hong Chau, Ha Thanh Tuyen, Tran Vu Thieu Nga, Pham Van Minh, Tran Do Hoang Nhu, Le Thi Quynh Nhi, Allan Saul, Laura B. Martin, Audino Podda, Christiane Gerke, Guy Thwaites, Cameron P. SimmonsStephen Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Shigella sonnei is an emergent and major diarrheal pathogen for which there is currently no vaccine. We aimed to quantify duration of maternal antibody against S. sonnei and investigate transplacental IgG transfer in a birth cohort in southern Vietnam. 

Methods and results: Over 500-paired maternal/infant plasma samples were evaluated for presence of anti-S. sonnei-O IgG and IgM. Longitudinal plasma samples allowed for the estimation of the median half-life of maternal anti-S. sonnei-O IgG, which was 43 days (95% confidence interval: 41-45 days). Additionally, half of infants lacked a detectable titer by 19 weeks of age. Lower cord titers were associated with greater increases in S. sonnei IgG over the first year of life, and the incidence of S. sonnei seroconversion was estimated to be 4/100 infant years. Maternal IgG titer, the ratio of antibody transfer, the season of birth and gestational age were significantly associated with cord titer. 

Conclusions: Maternal anti-S. sonnei-O IgG is efficiently transferred across the placenta and anti-S. sonnei-O maternal IgG declines rapidly after birth and is undetectable after 5 months in the majority of children. Preterm neonates and children born to mothers with low IgG titers have lower cord titers and therefore may be at greater risk of seroconversion in infancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-790
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2016


  • Maternal antibody
  • Placental transfer
  • Seroconversion
  • Shigella

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