Secretory Anti-Giardia lamblia Antibodies in Human Milk: Protective Effect Against Diarrhea.

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One hundred ninety-seven Mexican mother/infant pairs were followed weekly from birth for diarrheal disease and feeding status. Infant stool specimens were collected weekly and were cultured for bacterial pathogens and tested for Giardia and rotavirus by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Maternal milk samples were collected weekly for 1 month postpartum and monthly thereafter. To determine the protective effect of anti-Giardia sIgA in milk against infection and against diarrhea due to Giardia, milk samples from mothers of infected infants and appropriately matched controls were assayed for anti-Giardia sIgA by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


Asymptomatic, infected infants ingested significantly (P = .046) higher amounts of milk anti-Giardia sIgA compared with symptomatic, infected infants. However, milk anti-Giardia sIgA concentrations did not differ between Giardia-infected and noninfected infants.


The amount of anti-Giardia sIgA in human milk was associated with prevention of symptoms of diarrhea due to Giardia, but not with acquisition of the organism. Pediatrics 1994;93:28-31; Giardia lamblia, antibody, milk, diarrhea, breast-feeding.

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