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July 1969

Congenital Rubella Syndrome: Lymphoid Tissue and Immunologic Status

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pathology (Dr. Singer), pediatrics (Drs. South and Montgomery), and virology and epidemiology (Dr. Rawls), Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, Houston.

Am J Dis Child. 1969;118(1):54-61. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1969.02100040056010

THE EFFECT of congenital rubella infection on immunologic mechanisms has received wide attention. The paradox of persistent viral excretion in patients with large quantities of specific humoral antibody has given cause for reconsideration of basic immunologic concepts. As well, this paradox has stimulated further studies including the development of more serologic tests, measurements of lymphocyte function, and the measurement of immunoglobulins in rubella infected infants. The data from these studies have demonstrated that most infants with rubella develop high titers of antibody and high levels of immunoglobulin M. Some infants have impaired or distorted immunoglobulin synthesis and cellular immunity.

The morphologic changes in the lymph nodes, spleen, intestinal lymphoid tissue, and thymus gland ought to reflect some of the changes observed in immunologic function. This study was undertaken to correlate the development of lymphoid follicles, germinal centers, lymphocytes, plasma cells, and thymic structure with antirubella antibody, immunoglobulin levels, and the

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