Fetomaternal Immunology

Maternal infection and other environmental disturbances in early life can play a decisive role educating the growing immune system. Recent evidence shows that changes affecting pregnancy can tip the balance in determining the likelihood of inflammatory disorders, and can affect immune responses into adulthood. The first “1000 days” in humans have been designated as a pivotal “window of opportunity” for effecting profound change for the development of bodily systems, including appropriate immune functioning with lasting effects throughout lifetime.

Key questions

Current projects in Fetomaternal Immunology and DOHaD:

  • Treatment of helminth infection during pregnancy and its effects on antigen-specific immune responses and disease development in offspring
  • Innate training in the context of transmaternal helminth infection
  • Persistent immune priming via maternal inflammation
  • Regional and infection-specific effects on Vitamin D and immune parameters at birth and their connection to allergic disease
  • The role of maternal cytokines during gestation as a factor in future immune responses