Passive immunity to measles in the breastmilk and cord blood of some Nigerian subjects

O. Oluseyi Oyedele, S. O. Odemuyiwa, W. Ammerlaan, C. P. Muller, F. D. Adu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Maternal and cord blood collected from 33 Nigerian mother-child pairs were tested for measles-sepcific IgG. All 33 had protective measles antibodies at the time of delivery with a positive correlation of r = 0.87. Determination of the rate of waning of these antibodies revealed that 58 per cent of these children had lost the protective maternal antibody by the age of 4 months and only 3 per cent of the children had enough antibody to protect them between the ages of 6-9 months. Fifty-five colostrum samples from the same mothers and 347 breastmilk samples collected at various periods of breastfeeding also showed that anti-measles IgA had dropped below the protective cut-off within the first 2 weeks of birth. It is evident that the Nigerian child is born with solid anti-measles antibody but the rate of waning has left a large number unprotected before the first dose of the vaccine. There is an urgent need to review the measles vaccination programme in Nigeria to protect these susceptible infants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-48
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Tropical Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005


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