Immunomodulatory constituents of human breast milk and immunity from bronchiolitis

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Background: The mother’s immune status can be achieved by genetic and breastfeeding impact descendants of the immune system. The study aimed to determine whether a mother’s immune status and breastfeeding practices were related to development of bronchiolitis in her infant. Methods: The frequency of T, B and natural kill (NK) cells in patients’ blood and their mothers’ breast milk was determined using flow cytometry. The concentrations of serum and breast milk IgG and IgD in individual patients and healthy control were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The relationships between immunocytes, immunoglobulin and respiratory score (RS) were analyzed by Spearman’s rank correlation test. Results: The mothers of bronchiolitis patients had lower IgG concentrations in their breast milk when compared to the mothers of healthy children. There was no significant difference in the frequency of T cells, B cells, and NK cells in samples of breast milk. However, significant decreases of CD3+, CD8+ T cells, as well as significant increases of CD4+ T cells and CD19+ B cells were found in the serum of bronchiolitis infants. There were positive correlation relationships between RS and CD3+, CD4+ T cells, IgG and IgD concentrations. Conclusion: Our data suggested that the mothers of bronchiolitis patients had lower IgG concentration in their breast milk. The breast milk IgG might be absorbed by the breastfeeding infants, which could play important role in resistance of bronchiolitis.




Li, C., Liu, Y., Jiang, Y., Xu, N., & Lei, J. (2017). Immunomodulatory constituents of human breast milk and immunity from bronchiolitis. Italian Journal of Pediatrics, 43, 1–7.

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