Preterm infants are especially susceptible to late-onset sepsis that is often due to Gram-positive bacterial infections resulting in substantial morbidity and mortality. Herein, we will describe neonatal innate immunity to Staphylococcus spp. comparing differences between preterm and full-term newborns with adults. Newborn innate immunity is distinct demonstrating diminished skin integrity, impaired Th1-polarizing responses, low complement levels, and diminished expression of plasma antimicrobial proteins and peptides, especially in preterm newborns. Characterization of distinct aspects of the neonatal immune response is defining novel approaches to enhance host defense to prevent and/or treat staphylococcal infection in this vulnerable population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy