Breast milk supplies many bioactive components. Neonates protection from pathogenic bacteria is mainly attributable to secretory IgA antibodies present in human milk in an amount depending on previous antigenic exposure. To bring new details into the field of immunological memory in secretory immunity, we evaluated the production of s-IgA specific for E. coli (E. coli s-IgA), and of proinflammatory (IL-6 and IL-8) or anti-inflammatory (IL-10) cytokines in the milk of mothers of different ethnic groups exposed in the past to poor conditions, but nowadays living in Italy in adequate conditions. Mothers from Italy, Africa, Asia and Eastern European Countries were included in the study. Anti-E. coli s-IgA, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10 were determined by ELISA. Breast milk of all the foreign mothers presented higher levels of E. coli s-IgA than Italians, and for Asian and African mothers were significative (p=0.031 and p=0.015, respectively). Milk from women of Eastern European Countries revealed the highest IL-8 levels (p=0.026), while milk from Asian women presented the greatest concentration of IL-6 (p=0.04); however, the Africans reported the lowest concentrations of IL-10 (p=0.045). Since all the mothers had been living in Italy for some time, we believe that the presence of high levels of E.coli s-IgA, supported by high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokine, is part of a persisting immunological secretory memory.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2007|
- E. coli s-IgA
- Ethnic group
- Human milk
ASJC Scopus subject areas