Table of Contents

HK J Paediatr (New Series)
Vol 3. No. 1, 1998

HK J Paediatr (New Series) 1998;3:5-8

Feature Article

Non-breastfeeding - The Most Common Immunodeficiency

LÅ Hanson


Breastfeeding has been clearly shown to significantly reduce morbidity and mortality in diarrhoea and pneumonia. Furthermore, it protects against neonatal septicemia, necrotising enterocolitis, urinary tract infections and otitis media. There is also good evidence the protection remains at a higher level than in non-breastfed for years after the termination of breastfeeding. This has been demonstrated for otitis media, respiratory tract infections, wheezing bronchitis, diarrhoea and Haemophilus influenzae type b infections. Vaccine responses also seem to be enhanced by breastfeeding. This suggests that mother's milk can actively stimulate the immune system of the infant via its cytokines, anti-idiotypic antibodies and T and B lymphocytes. Such active stimulation of the infant's immune system may explain why breastfeeding protects against coeliac disease, most likely against allergies and possibly against autoimmune diseases.

Keyword : Active immunity; Breastfeeding; Immunodeficiency; Passive immunity

Abstract in Chinese


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