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How are pregnant women more susceptible to, and more severely affected by, infectious diseases such as malaria?
Immunity to infectious diseases during pregnancy remains an intriguing area, with immunological and physiological changes during pregnancy rendering pregnant women to be more susceptible to, and more severely affected by, infectious diseases.
How the maternal acquired immune response changes throughout pregnancy in both the presence and absence of pathogens is unknown.
All of these fundamental questions remain largely unanswered.
Using malaria (the most important parasitic pathogen in pregnancy) as a model, we aim to address fundamental questions on the modulation of antibody acquisition and maintenance during pregnancy and assess the ability to boost antibody responses upon re-exposure to pathogens in pregnant women.
We have samples from several established longitudinal cohorts of pregnant women and infants in Asia and Africa that can address questions of antibody acquisition and maintenance through high-throughput antibody assays and epidemiological analyses.