Bovine β-casein antibodies in breast- and bottle-fed infants: Their relevance in Type 1 diabetes

Laura Monetini, Maria G. Cavallo, Lavinia Stefanini, Federica Ferrazzoli, Carla Bizzarri, Giovanni Marietti, Vincenzo Curro, Marco Cervoni, Paolo Pozzilli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Bovine β-casein is a cow's milk protein that targets both humoral and cellular immune responses in patients with Type 1 diabetes and, to a lesser degree, also in normal subjects. In this study we aimed to determine whether the avoidance of cow's milk consumption early in life could prevent the development of antibody response to bovine β-casein despite the mother being exposed on a daily basis to cow's milk consumption. Materials and Methods. We measured the antibody response to bovine β-casein using an ELISA method in 28 healthy infants under 4 months of age, of whom 16 were exclusively breast-fed and 12 were bottle-fed with cow's milk. In addition, β-casein antibodies were measured in 37 prepubertal children with Type 1 diabetes and in 31 healthy children who were exposed to cow's milk or dairy products to see whether differences in antibody titers exist in this young age group. Antibodies binding to β-casein were also evaluated by immunoblotting analysis. Results. Elevated levels of β-casein antibodies were found in bottle-fed infants compared to breast-fed infants (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-54
Number of pages4
JournalDiabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • β-Casein antibodies
  • Cow's milk
  • Type 1 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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