Thursday April 2, 2020

Premature Babies May Rapidly Acquire Adult immune Functions After Birth: Study

The data highlight that the majority of immune development takes place after birth and, as such, even those babies born very prematurely have the ability to develop a normal immune system

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For the findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, the research team followed babies born before 32 weeks gestation to identify different immune cell populations, the state of these populations, their ability to produce mediators, and how these features changed post-natally. Pixabay

Babies who born prematurely can rapidly acquire some adult immune functions after birth, equivalent to that achieved by infants born at term, according to a new study.

For the findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, the research team followed babies born before 32 weeks gestation to identify different immune cell populations, the state of these populations, their ability to produce mediators, and how these features changed post-natally. They also took stool samples and analysed to see which bacteria were present.

“The data highlight that the majority of immune development takes place after birth and, as such, even those babies born very prematurely have the ability to develop a normal immune system,” said study researcher Deena Gibbons, Professor at King’s College London in the UK.

During the research, they found that all the infants’ immune profiles progressed in a similar direction as they aged, regardless of the number of weeks of gestation at birth. Babies born at the earliest gestations – before 28 weeks – made a greater degree of movement over a similar time period to those born at later gestation.

This suggests that preterm and term infants converge in a similar time frame, and immune development in all babies follows a set path after birth. According to the researchers, infection and infection-related complications are significant causes of death following preterm birth.

Despite this, there is limited understanding of the development of the immune system in babies born prematurely, and how this development can be influenced by the environment post birth. Some preterm babies who went on to develop infection showed reduced CXCL8-producing T cells at birth, the study found.

Babies
Babies who born prematurely can rapidly acquire some adult immune functions after birth, equivalent to that achieved by infants born at term, according to a new study. Pixabay

This suggests that infants at risk of infection and complications in the first few months of their life could be identified shortly after birth, which may lead to improved outcomes. There were limited differences driven by sex which suggests that the few identified may play a role in the observations that preterm male infants often experience poorer outcomes.

“We are continuing to study the role of the CXCL8-producing T cell and how it can be activated to help babies fight infection. We also want to take a closer look at other immune functions that change during infection to help improve outcomes for this vulnerable group,” Gibbons added.

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King’s College London is a public research university and was established in 1829. (IANS)

Next Story

Can AI Predict Diabetes Accurately? Find it Out Here

AI to predict future diabetes cases with 94% accuracy

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AI diabetes
Researchers have revealed that with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) their trained computer model predicted the future incidence of diabetes. Pixabay

Researchers have revealed that with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) their trained computer model predicted the future incidence of diabetes with an overall accuracy of 94.9 per cent.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. Diabetes is linked to increased risks of severe health problems, including heart disease and cancer. Preventing diabetes is essential to reduce the risk of illness and death.

“Currently, we do not have sufficient methods for predicting which generally healthy individuals will develop diabetes,” said study lead author Akihiro Nomura from Kanazawa University in Japan. “Using machine learning, it could be possible to precisely identify high-risk groups of future diabetes patients better than using existing risk scores,” Nomura added.

For the findings, published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, the researchers investigated the use of a type of artificial intelligence called machine learning in diagnosing diabetes.

AI diabetes
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. Pixabay

Machine learning is a type of AI that enables computers to learn without being explicitly programmed. The research team analysed 509,153 nationwide annual health checkup records from 139,225 participants from 2008 to 2018 in the city of Kanazawa in Japan.

Among them, 65,505 participants without diabetes were included. The data included physical exams, blood and urine tests and participant questionnaires.

Patients without diabetes at the beginning of the study who underwent more than two annual health checkups during this period were included.

New cases of diabetes were recorded during patients’ checkups, the researchers said.

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The researchers identified a total of 4,696 new diabetes patients (7.2 per cent) in the study period. Their computer model predicted the future incidence of diabetes with an overall accuracy of 94.9 per cent.

According to the authors, the next plan is to perform clinical trials to assess the effectiveness of using statins to treat groups of patients identified by the machine learning model as being at high risk of developing diabetes. (IANS)