The association of allergic sensitization in mother and child in breast-fed and formula-fed infants

Anne L. Wright, Debra A. Stern, Marilyn Halonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human milk contains immunologically active substances potentially capable of altering infant immune response. As part of the prospective Children's Respiratory Study, we assessed whether the association between maternal allergic status and allergic status of the child was altered by breast-feeding. Skin-prick tests for 7 common allergens were administered to 702 6-year-old children and their mothers. The percentage of children sensitized to specific allergens, maternal skin test response to that allergen, and whether or not the child was ever breast-fed was determined. Findings indicated that specific sensitization in the mother was associated with specific sensitization in the child only if the child was breast-fed. This indirectly supports the hypothesis that contents of milk differ with maternal allergic status, and appear to affect allergic status in the child. These results suggest that milk from allergic mothers either promotes a Th2 type immune response or suppresses Th1 immune response in the child.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-255
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in experimental medicine and biology
Volume501
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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