The immune response to Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) was assessed in JEV-infected mice (mothers) and their offspring. The congenitally infected baby mice responded poorly in all assays for cell-mediated immunity. The total number of their splenic cells remained unaltered but the percentage of T cells was significantly reduced; a depressed delayed hypersensitivity response was seen against both homologous (JEV) and heterologous (sheep erythrocytes) antigens. In addition, significantly higher leukocyte migration inhibition (LMI) of spleen cells in the presence of specific antigen was observed. Adult mice infected during pregnancy demonstrated an impaired delayed hypersensitivity response to JEV antigen only. LMI was positive in mothers at 2 weeks post-partum, but not at later periods.


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