The demonstration that specific IgM antibodies are present in the serum of infants is useful in the diagnosis of several congenital infections. However, it is less certain whether the detection of antibodies in cerebrospinal fluid (C.S.F.) of infants indicates congenital infection of the central nervous system, because the origins of such antibodies have not been established. In the present study diphtheria and tetanus antitoxins of maternal origin have been detected both in the serum and in the c.s.F. of infants. These observations suggest that an important source of immunoglobulins in C.S.F. is passive transfer of antibodies from serum which should be considered in interpreting serological studies with C.S.F.
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