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Indian Pediatr. 1998 Mar;35(3):217-22.

Effect of administration of 200,000 IU of vitamin A to women within 24 hrs after delivery on response to PPV administered to the newborn.

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Department of Pediatrics, Indian Council of Medical Research, Hyderabad.



To explore the effect of maternal supplementation of vitamin A on the immune response to oral polio vaccine in breastfed infants.


Randomized controlled trial.


Hospital based.


One hundred mothers having uncomplicated deliveries randomly received either 200,000 IU vitamin A orally (Experimental) or placebo (Control). All the newborns were given a dose of oral polio vaccine within 72 hours after birth and were breastfed. Type specific neutralizing antibodies to polio viruses in test sera diluted from 1:4 to 1:512 and serum retinol levels were determined from the cord blood and at the age of 6 weeks. Breast milk retinol levels were determined at 3, 10, 30, 45 and 90 days of lactation.


Seroconversion to OPV and geometric means of antibody titers to the three types of polio viruses were comparable between the groups of infants belonging to the experimental and control mothers. Breast milk retinol levels were significantly higher in the experimental group upto 45-90 days of lactation. Majority of the infants at birth had serum retinol levels < 15 micrograms/dl which improved significantly by 6 weeks irrespective of the maternal supplementation status.


Maternal vitamin A supplementation soon after delivery improves vitamin A intakes of breastfed infants during the first 3 months and has no interference with the seroconversion to a neonatal dose of OPV. OPV administered to newborn in turn has no adverse effect on the vitamin A status of the breastfed infants.

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