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Allergy. 1997 Jan;52(1):82-8.

Immunogenicity and antigenicity of a partially hydrolyzed cow's milk infant formula.

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Division of Neonatology and Neonatal Intensive Care, Policlinico San Matteo, IRCCS, Pavia, Italy.


We evaluated the immunogenicity and antigenicity of a formula based on partially hydrolyzed cow's milk whey protein in infants at risk of atopy and in controls. Total IgE and specific IgE, IgG, and IgG4 subclass antibodies against egg albumin and cow's milk alpha-lactalbumin, casein, and beta-lactoglobulin were measured by radioimmunoassay of cord blood and of peripheral blood at 5 days and 6 months of life in five groups of infants: 16 breast-fed infants at risk of atopy (group 1), 21 partially hydrolyzed whey formula-fed infants at risk of atopy (group 2), 14 formula-fed infants at risk of atopy (group 3), 10 breast-fed control infants (group 4), and 13 formula-fed control infants (group 5). Total IgE concentration was significantly lower in group 2 at 6 months than in groups 3 and 5 infants and similar to that observed in groups 1 and 4 infants. The concentration of specific antiegg and anti-cow's milk protein IgG and of specific anti-cow's milk alpha-lactalbumin and beta-lactoglobulin IgG4 subclass antibodies was significantly reduced in group 2 as compared to group 3 infants and similar to that found in breast-fed infants. In conclusion, the partially hydrolyzed formula was less immunogenic and antigenic than a traditional formula and was as immunogenic and antigenic as breast milk.

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