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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 196785, 10 pages
Research Article

Developmental Profiles of Mucosal Immunity in Pre-school Children

1Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, ACT, 2601, Australia
2Griffith Health Institute, School of Medicine, Griffith Health, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD, 4222, Australia
3Griffith Health Institute, School of Psychology, Griffith Health, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD, 4222, Australia
4Capricornia Centre for Mucosal Immunology, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, QLD, 4702, Australia
5Hunter Institute Medical Research, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, 2308, Australia

Received 9 August 2010; Accepted 25 October 2010

Academic Editor: Bernhard Fleischer

Copyright © 2010 Patricia Ewing et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study investigated the effect of attending pre-school on mucosal immunity. Children 3.5 to 5 years of age who attended pre-school were observed for a 10 month period. Demographic information was collected on previous childcare experiences, the home environment and clinical information relating to the child and the family. A daily illness log was kept for each child. A multivariate longitudinal analysis of the relation between immunoglobulins in saliva and age, gender, childcare experience, pre-school exposure, number of siblings, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), atopy and hospitalisation was conducted. There was a positive association of higher IgA levels with the winter season and with children being older than 4 years ( 𝑃 < . 0 0 1 ), having attended childcare prior to commencing pre-school ( 𝑃 < . 0 5 ), and having been exposed to ETS at home ( 𝑃 < . 0 5 ). Lower IgA levels were associated with being atopic ( 𝑃 < . 0 5 ). Higher IgG levels were associated with exposure to ETS ( 𝑃 < . 0 0 1 ), while lower levels were associated to having atopy. Higher IgM levels were associated with previous childcare experience ( 𝑃 < . 0 1 ) whilst having been hospitalised was associated with having low salivary IgM levels ( 𝑃 < . 0 1 ). Lagged analyses demonstrated that immunological parameters were affected by the number of respiratory infections in the preceding 2 months.