Developmental Regulation of the Immune System

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

74 Scopus citations


Term newborns have a higher frequency of microbial infections than older children and adults. Extremely premature newborns (<28 weeks gestation) have an even higher frequency. Quantitative and qualitative differences in the development of the immune system have been identified as a partial explanation for the increase in the incidence of infectious sequelae in these two patient populations. A less studied population of patients is late preterm newborns that are 34 to 35 6/7 weeks gestation. In general, this subset of patients is frequently grouped with term newborns. However, recent studies have provided data suggesting a potential unrecognized risk to health in this population, including at least a clinical suspicion for an increased risk of sepsis. Although little specific data on the host-defense capability of the near-term newborn exist, recent advancements in developmental immunology provide a framework for understanding the mechanisms underlying the propensity of infections in the preterm, near-term, and term newborn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-72
Number of pages4
JournalSeminars in Perinatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006


  • infections
  • innate host defense
  • myeloid
  • ontogeny
  • receptors
  • sepsis
  • toll-like

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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