The development of germinal centres in the spleen has been estimated in a series of 266 children dying in hospital and 205 children presenting as unexpected death in infancy. The prevalence of germinal centres in the spleen increases rapidly after birth. The percentage of Malpighian bodies showing germinal centres in the spleen is greater in all categories of our classification of death in children dying unexpectedly at home when these are compared with hospital deaths. It is concluded that the children presenting as unexpected death in infancy show no evidence of any deficiency in cellular immunological response and may well have been subjected to increased or precocious antigenic stimulation.
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