Cord blood cytokine levels are affected by maternal age, but not by maternal P. falciparum infection or MP accumulation in placenta. Foetal plasma samples were collected at delivery and subsequently analysed for IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, IFN-γ, TNF-α and MIP-1α/CCL3 levels. (A) Data represent median values and percentiles for 57 individuals divided in 27 P. falciparum negative mothers (Pf-negative, white bars) and 30 P. falciparum positive mothers (Pf-positive, diagonal striped bars). (B) Women were divided in 39 MP-negative mothers (white bars) and 18 MP-positive (diagonal striped bars). (C) Women were divided in 33 mothers ≤ 25 years of age (white bars) and 24 women > 25 years (diagonal striped bars) Values were calculated by Mann-Whitney U test or t test (see Subjects, Materials and Methods). The significance limit was P < 0.05.