Serum total protein, albumin, IgG, IgM, and IgA were determined in cord blood of 54 term infants appropriate-for-gestation-age (AGA), 14 preterm AGA infants, and 21 small-for-dates infants, and in their mothers immediately after delivery in Dar-es-Salaam. The mean serum levels of total protein, albumin, and IgG in mothers who delivered a term AGA infant were 6.8 g/100 ml, 2.9 g/100 ml, and 1840 mg/100 ml respectively, whereas those from their infants were 6.9 g/100 ml, 4.1 g/100 ml, and 1471 mg/100 ml. The de novo synthesis of IgM and IgA during fetal life seems to be activated at an earlier gestational age than in infants in Western countries; this fact subsequently resulted in a higher detection rate for IgM and IgA in cord blood of term AGA infants. IgG in Tanzanian mothers was generally higher than in corresponding cord blood sera, which is contrary to the finding in Europe.
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