Lactoferrin and Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Division of Neonatology, Women's and Children's Hospital, University of Missouri Health System, University of Missouri, Suite 206, 404 Keene Street, Columbia, MO 65201, USA. Electronic address: .
Clinics in perinatology (Impact Factor: 2.44). 03/2013; 40(1):79-91. DOI: 10.1016/j.clp.2012.12.006
Source: PubMed


Lactoferrin (LF) is a multifunctional protein and a member of the transferrin family. LF and lysozyme in breast milk kill bacteria. In the stomach, pepsin digests and releases a potent peptide antibiotic called lactoferricin from native LF. The antimicrobial characteristics of LF may facilitate a healthy intestinal microbiome. LF is the major whey in human milk; its highest concentration is in colostrum. This fact highlights early feeding of colostrum and also fresh mature milk as a way to prevent necrotizing enterocolitis.

Download full-text


Available from: Michael P Sherman, Feb 24, 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neonatal sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) are associated with significant mortality and morbidity. Inflammation secondary to sepsis and NEC increases morbidity, especially those related to the lung, brain and eye. Therapeutic strategies that target inflammation and decrease the emergence of antibiotic resistance are urgently needed. Lactoferrin (Lf) is a multifunctional protein that modulates inflammation, cell growth and differentiation and has broad antimicrobial activity. Studies evaluating the efficacy and safety of Lf in the prevention of neonatal sepsis and NEC are currently in progress, and one completed study shows significant promise. In this article, the functions of this multifunctional molecule and current clinical evidence for its use in the newborn are reviewed. Lf prophylaxis and therapy may have a significant impact in improving clinical outcomes of vulnerable preterm neonates.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this article is to educate neonatal caregivers about metagenomics. This scientific field uses novel and ever changing molecular methods to identify how infants become colonized with microbes after birth. Publications using metagenomics appear infrequently in the neonatal literature because clinicians are unaccustomed to the analytical techniques, data interpretation, and illustration of the results. This review covers those areas. After a brief introduction of neonatal citations forthcoming from metagenomic studies, the following topics are covered: (1) the history of metagenomics, (2) a description of current and emerging instruments used to define microbial populations in human organs, and (3) how extensive databases generated by genome analyzers are examined and presented to readers. Clinicians may feel like they are learning a new language; however, they will appreciate this task is essential to understanding and practicing neonatal medicine in the future. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Neonatology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: It is well known that the immune response is blunted and underdeveloped in the premature infant, but human milk supports the infant's growth, function, and effectiveness. Thus, own mother's colostrum (OMC) administered oropharyngeally has potential to deliver oral immune therapy (C-OIT) even before enteral feedings have begun. Colostrum interacts with lymphoid tissue in the oropharynx and gut. Colostrum as oral immune therapy is delivered by swabbing the cheeks in the first days of life. Little formal study has evaluated its effectiveness. However, small studies demonstrate that it is a practice that is safe, feasible, and well tolerated even by the smallest premature infants. Encouraging preliminary evidence supports the effect of C-OIT to reduce the time to full enteral feedings. Effects on other outcomes is unclear, in part because existing studies are underpowered to detect significant differences on outcomes like necrotizing enterocolitis, sepsis, and death. Another limitation in the evidence base is that adherence to the intervention and the number of doses of colostrum infants received in the studies is not consistently made clear. More well-designed studies are needed to demonstrate the impact on neonatal complications and how C-OIT supports the infant's immune development. Quality improvement and time series reports of differences pre- and postimplementation of OMC given orally should minimally include statistics for adherence to the intervention and/or the number of doses an infant received as a covariate. Even so, OMC is an immune therapy that poses little risk yet offers likely cost-effective benefit for vulnerable infants.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Advances in Neonatal Care
Show more