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de Jong, Sanne E.; Selman, Maurice H. J.; Adegnika, Ayola A.; Amoah, Abena S.; Riet, Elly van; Kruize, Yvonne C. M.; Raynes, John G.; Rodriguez, Alejandro; Boakye, Daniel; Mutius, Erika von; Knulst, André C.; Genuneit, Jon; Cooper, Philip J.; Hokke, Cornelis H.; Wuhrer, Manfred; Yazdanbakhsh, Maria (2016): IgG1 Fc N-glycan galactosylation as a biomarker for immune activation. In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 6, 28207


Immunoglobulin G (IgG) Fc N-glycosylation affects antibody-mediated effector functions and varies with inflammation rooted in both communicable and non-communicable diseases. Worldwide, communicable and non-communicable diseases tend to segregate geographically. Therefore, we studied whether IgG Fc N-glycosylation varies in populations with different environmental exposures in different parts of the world. IgG Fc N-glycosylation was analysed in serum/plasma of 700 school-age children from different communities of Gabon, Ghana, Ecuador, the Netherlands and Germany. IgG1 galactosylation levels were generally higher in more affluent countries and in more urban communities. High IgG1 galactosylation levels correlated with low total IgE levels, low C-reactive protein levels and low prevalence of parasitic infections. Linear mixed modelling showed that only positivity for parasitic infections was a significant predictor of reduced IgG1 galactosylation levels. That IgG1 galactosylation is a predictor of immune activation is supported by the observation that asthmatic children seemed to have reduced IgG1 galactosylation levels as well. This indicates that IgG1 galactosylation levels could be used as a biomarker for immune activation of populations, providing a valuable tool for studies examining the epidemiological transition from communicable to non-communicable diseases.