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Babies' Susceptibility to Colds Linked to Immune Response at Birth

Innate differences in immunity can be detected at birth, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. And babies with a better innate response to viruses have fewer respiratory illnesses in the first year of life.

"Viral respiratory infections are common during childhood," says first author Kaharu Sumino, MD, assistant professor of medicine. "Usually they are mild, but there's a wide range of responses -- from regular cold symptoms to severe lung infections and even, in rare instances, death. We wanted to look at whether the innate immune response -- the response to viruses that you're born with -- has any effect on the risk of getting respiratory infections during the baby's first year."

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