A new study featured on Science Daily has found the reason why newborns are more susceptible to diseases. Simply put, they are born without ample protection.
Researchers compared the cord blood cells of infants with those of adults and found that the former lacked the protein TLR3 or "toll-like receptor 3," which helps the body recognize and fight viruses. When cells from both samples were treated with a component that mimicked the behavior of a virus, the adult cells secreted interferon-gamma, a compound used to kill invading threats. However, the newborn cells were defenseless.
This makes very young children prone to many viruses, including the herpes simplex virus (HSV) that manifests into painful sores. That’s why it’s important for parents to maintain a healthy and sanitized environment for their infants.
(Photo by Thomas via Flickr Creative Commons)