Document Detail

Impaired cell-mediated immunity in Papua New Guinean infants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1750259     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Immune function was studied in Papua New Guinea highland infants with pneumonia, healthy highland controls and expatriate controls under the age of 15 months. Delayed-type hypersensitivity to tuberculin was depressed in highland pneumonia patients and highland controls as were CD4/CD8 T-lymphocyte ratios. The differences between highland and expatriate infants were more pronounced after 6 months of age, suggesting an environmental effect. Serum immunoglobulin and complement concentrations were higher in highland infants than in expatriate controls. Indices of nutritional status were similar in highland and expatriate infants but iron deficiency was more common in the highland infants in the study.
17 highland Papua New Guinean infants (PNG) and 19 expatriate infants were matched with 20 0-14 month old infants from the highlands with moderate or severe pneumonia admitted to the Goroka Hospital in the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea to evaluate their immune systems to determine the factors that may affect their ability to begin and maintain an effective immune response. Both the PNG controls and patients tended not to respond to a delayed-type hypersensitivity challenge with tuberculin, especially the 6-14 month old infants. Specifically, all of the expatriate 6-14 month old infants responded while only 3 of the 8 PNG controls and 2 of the 10 pneumonia patients did. Moreover the CD4/CD8 lymphocyte ratios for the PNG controls were significantly lower than those of the expatriate controls for both the O-5 and 6-14 month old infant groups (p.02), but especially in the 6-14 month group. In addition, both the PNG controls and patients exhibited more iron deficiency than the expatriates (p.02), again especially among the 6-14 month old infants. Other nutritional status indices were the same in both PNG and expatriate controls. The differences in PNG controls were more extreme in the patients. These findings suggested that cell-mediated immunity is depressed in Papua New Guinea. On the other hand, infants humoral immune systems were very active. The difference in delayed-type hypersensitivity and CD4/CD8 ratios was larger in the 6-14 month old group than in the 0-5 month old group, suggesting than an environmental effect had a gradual influence on cell-mediated immunity. Since cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection occurs early in life in developing countries, increases CD8 lymphocyte numbers, and may induce temporary diminished reactivity to specific antigens, it was hypothesized that CMV may be the environmental effect.
C S Witt; M P Alpers
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Papua and New Guinea medical journal     Volume:  34     ISSN:  0031-1480     ISO Abbreviation:  P N G Med J     Publication Date:  1991 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1992-01-22     Completed Date:  1992-01-22     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376417     Medline TA:  P N G Med J     Country:  PAPUA NEW GUINEA    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  90-7     Citation Subset:  IM; J; X    
Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka.
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MeSH Terms
CD4-CD8 Ratio
Hypersensitivity, Delayed / immunology
Immunity, Cellular*
Immunoglobulins / immunology
Infant, Newborn / immunology*
Nutritional Status
Papua New Guinea
Pneumonia / immunology
T-Lymphocytes / immunology
Tuberculin Test
Reg. No./Substance:

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