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Pediatr Res. 2005 Dec;58(6):1300-5.

IgA antibodies, TGF-beta1 and -beta2, and soluble CD14 in the colostrum and development of atopy by age 4.

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Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Specific defense factors in breast milk together with length of breast-feeding and genetic predisposition may modulate the development of allergy. We studied whether IgA, soluble CD14 (sCD14), or transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta in colostrum could affect the development of atopy in children up to age 4. From a cohort of 4676, we selected four groups of children with either long or short exclusive breast-feeding (>3.5 or <0.5 mo); these groups further differed in the presence or absence of atopic heredity. In colostrum from mothers, we measured total IgA, IgA antibodies to cow's milk (CM) and casein, sCD14, and TGF-beta1 and -beta2. The children were divided into three groups: those with no atopic symptoms or IgE, those with allergic symptoms, and those with both outcomes. Mothers of infants later showing atopic symptoms or, in addition, having IgE sensitization (verified atopy) had a lower concentration of IgA casein antibodies in their colostrum than did mothers of infants with no indication of atopy at age 4. Low concentration of IgA casein antibodies was a significant risk for verified atopy. sCD14 levels were lower in colostrum of mothers with infants developing atopic symptoms and IgE sensitization than of those of infants with no atopy. Specific IgA antibodies to CM antigens and sCD14 in colostrum significantly associated with the appearance of both symptomatic and verified atopy by age 4.

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