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Arsenic and immune response to influenza vaccination in pregnant women and newborns


There is a fundamental gap in understanding of whether arsenic, a known developmental toxicant, alters maternal immune responses to vaccination and whether exposure to arsenic during pregnancy impairs the transfer of maternal vaccine-induced antibody to the newborn. Moreover, factors known to affect arsenic metabolism and toxicity outcomes, particularly micronutrients critical in one-carbon metabolism, have not been evaluated in studies of arsenic immunotoxicity and vaccine-induced protection in mothers and their newborns. Continued existence of this gap represents an important problem because, until it is filled, optimal points for intervention to prevent arsenic-related immunotoxicity and morbidity during pregnancy and early life will not be known. The objective of this project is to investigate whether maternal arsenic exposure and one-carbon metabolism micronutrient deficiencies alter maternal and newborn influenza antibody titer and avidity, respiratory morbidity, and measures of systemic immune function following maternal influenza vaccination.

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