Is infant immunization by breastfeeding possible?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Breastfeeding is known as the most efficient way to prevent infectious disease in early life. Maternal anti-microbial immunoglobulins transfer through milk confers passive immunity to the breastfed child while his immune system is maturing. Maternal milk also contains bioactive factors that will stimulate this maturation. From the literature on breastfeeding prevention of immunemediated disease and more specifically from our experiments conducted in the field of allergic disease prevention, we propose that breastfeeding may also induce antigen-specific immune responses in the breastfed child. We found that early oral antigen exposure through breast milk leads to tolerance or immune priming depending on the nature of the antigen transferred and accompanying maternal milk cofactors. Here, we will discuss our data in the light of prevention of infectious disease and will propose that possible milk transfer of microbial antigen could affect actively the immune response in breastfed children and thereby their long-term susceptibility to infectious disease. Further research in this direction may lead to novel strategies of early life vaccination, taking advantage of the possibility to stimulate antigen-specific immune responses through breast milk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20140139
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume370
Issue number1671
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Immunization
breastfeeding
immunization
breast feeding
antigen
Breast Feeding
Milk
milk
antigens
Communicable Diseases
Antigens
infectious disease
immune response
Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
Mothers
infectious diseases
Human Milk
maternal milk
disease prevention
breast milk

Cite this

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title = "Is infant immunization by breastfeeding possible?",
abstract = "Breastfeeding is known as the most efficient way to prevent infectious disease in early life. Maternal anti-microbial immunoglobulins transfer through milk confers passive immunity to the breastfed child while his immune system is maturing. Maternal milk also contains bioactive factors that will stimulate this maturation. From the literature on breastfeeding prevention of immunemediated disease and more specifically from our experiments conducted in the field of allergic disease prevention, we propose that breastfeeding may also induce antigen-specific immune responses in the breastfed child. We found that early oral antigen exposure through breast milk leads to tolerance or immune priming depending on the nature of the antigen transferred and accompanying maternal milk cofactors. Here, we will discuss our data in the light of prevention of infectious disease and will propose that possible milk transfer of microbial antigen could affect actively the immune response in breastfed children and thereby their long-term susceptibility to infectious disease. Further research in this direction may lead to novel strategies of early life vaccination, taking advantage of the possibility to stimulate antigen-specific immune responses through breast milk.",
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Is infant immunization by breastfeeding possible? / Verhasselt, Valerie.

In: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 370, No. 1671, 20140139, 19.06.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Is infant immunization by breastfeeding possible?

AU - Verhasselt, Valerie

PY - 2015/6/19

Y1 - 2015/6/19

N2 - Breastfeeding is known as the most efficient way to prevent infectious disease in early life. Maternal anti-microbial immunoglobulins transfer through milk confers passive immunity to the breastfed child while his immune system is maturing. Maternal milk also contains bioactive factors that will stimulate this maturation. From the literature on breastfeeding prevention of immunemediated disease and more specifically from our experiments conducted in the field of allergic disease prevention, we propose that breastfeeding may also induce antigen-specific immune responses in the breastfed child. We found that early oral antigen exposure through breast milk leads to tolerance or immune priming depending on the nature of the antigen transferred and accompanying maternal milk cofactors. Here, we will discuss our data in the light of prevention of infectious disease and will propose that possible milk transfer of microbial antigen could affect actively the immune response in breastfed children and thereby their long-term susceptibility to infectious disease. Further research in this direction may lead to novel strategies of early life vaccination, taking advantage of the possibility to stimulate antigen-specific immune responses through breast milk.

AB - Breastfeeding is known as the most efficient way to prevent infectious disease in early life. Maternal anti-microbial immunoglobulins transfer through milk confers passive immunity to the breastfed child while his immune system is maturing. Maternal milk also contains bioactive factors that will stimulate this maturation. From the literature on breastfeeding prevention of immunemediated disease and more specifically from our experiments conducted in the field of allergic disease prevention, we propose that breastfeeding may also induce antigen-specific immune responses in the breastfed child. We found that early oral antigen exposure through breast milk leads to tolerance or immune priming depending on the nature of the antigen transferred and accompanying maternal milk cofactors. Here, we will discuss our data in the light of prevention of infectious disease and will propose that possible milk transfer of microbial antigen could affect actively the immune response in breastfed children and thereby their long-term susceptibility to infectious disease. Further research in this direction may lead to novel strategies of early life vaccination, taking advantage of the possibility to stimulate antigen-specific immune responses through breast milk.

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KW - Neonate immunity

KW - Tolerance

KW - Vaccine

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JO - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences

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