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J Dev Orig Health Dis. 2016 Feb;7(1):68-72. doi: 10.1017/S2040174415007862.

Infant gut immunity: a preliminary study of IgA associations with breastfeeding.

Author information

1
1Department of Pediatrics,University of Alberta,Edmonton, AB,Canada.
2
2Dalla Lana School of Public Health,University of Toronto,Toronto, ON,Canada.
3
3Department of Pediatrics and Child Health,Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba,University of Manitoba,Winnipeg, MB,Canada.
4
4Department of Medicine,de Groote School of Medicine,McMaster University,Hamilton, ON,Canada.
5
5Department of Pediatrics,Child & Family Research Institute and BC Children's Hospital,University of British Columbia,Vancouver, BC,Canada.
6
6Department of Pediatrics,Hospital for Sick Children,University of Toronto,Toronto, ON,Canada.
7
8Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Sciences,University of Alberta,Edmonton, AB,Canada.

Abstract

Secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) plays a critical role in gut mucosal immune defense. Initially provided by breastmilk, IgA production by the infant gut is gradually stimulated by developing gut microbiota. This study reports associations between infant fecal IgA concentrations 4 months after birth, breastfeeding status and other pre/postnatal exposures in 47 infants in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development cohort. Breastfed infants and first-born infants had higher median fecal IgA concentrations (23.11 v. 9.34 µg/g protein, P<0.01 and 22.19 v. 8.23 µg/g protein, P=0.04). IgA levels increased successively with exclusivity of breastfeeding (β-coefficient, 0.37, P<0.05). This statistical association was independent of maternal parity and household pets. In the absence of breastfeeding, female sex and pet exposure elevated fecal IgA to levels found in breastfed infants. In addition to breastfeeding, infant fecal IgA associations with pre/postnatal exposures may affect gut immunity and risk of allergic disease.

KEYWORDS:

breastfeeding; immunoglobulin A; parity; pets

PMID:
26690933
DOI:
10.1017/S2040174415007862
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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