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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013, Article ID 427696, 6 pages
Review Article

Neonatal Natural Killer Cell Function: Relevance to Antiviral Immune Defense

1Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
2Division of Asthma, Allergy, and Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, Chang Gung Children’s Hospital, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan

Received 17 June 2013; Revised 19 July 2013; Accepted 25 July 2013

Academic Editor: Mario Clerici

Copyright © 2013 Yen-Chang Lee and Syh-Jae Lin. 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.


Neonates are particularly susceptible to various pathogens compared to adults, which is attributed in part to their immature innate and adaptive immunity. Natural killer cells provide first-line innate immune reactions against virus-infected cells without prior sensitization. This review updates phenotypic and functional deficiencies of neonatal cells compared to their adult counterparts and their clinical implications.