The breast milk sugars less likely to pass GBS to offspring
The scientist explain that the types of sugar in a woman's breast milk - known as human milk oligosaccharides - are partly influenced by genetic makeup,primarily the Lewis antigen system, which is involved in producing the A, B,and O blood groups.
Therese archers tested the breast milk of 183 mothers from Gambia for the presence of sugars known to be influenced by the Lewis genes for their study.
Again,the mothers were tested for the presence of GBS through vaginal and rectal swabs collected at childbirth. At birth, 6 days after birth, and 60-89 days after birth, nasopharyngeal and rectal swabs were collected from their infant sand tested for GBS.
The researchers compared with mothers who did not have Lewis gene-related sugars in their breast milk, those who did had lower levels of GBS in their gut report and they were also less likely to pass the bacteria to their infants during childbirth.
Furthermore the researchers found that infants born to mothers who had the sugar lacto-n-difucohexaose in their breast milk - also associated with the Lewis genes - were more likely to have cleared GBS bacteria from their body by 60-89 days of age.
On testing breast milk containing lacto-n-difucohexaose against GBS bacteria in the lab, the researchers found it was more effective at killing the bacteria than breast milk that did not contain this specific sugar.
Altogether,the researchers say their findings suggest naturally occurring sugars in breast milk - particularly lacto-n-difucohexaose - could prevent GBS infection in infants by boosting the presence of beneficial gut bacteria.
"Although this is early-stage research, it demonstrates the complexity of breast milk,and the benefits it may have for the baby. Increasingly, research is suggesting these breast milk sugars (human milk oligosaccharides) may protect against infections in the newborn, such as rotavirus and group B streptococcus, as well as boosting a child's 'friendly' gut bacteria."Dr. Nicholas Andreas
The findings could pave the way for new strategies to prevent GBS infection in mothers and their infants, the team notes. For mothers who do not produce the GBS-protective sugars, breast milk sugar supplements could be an option.
Furthermore,Dr. Andreas says the results also provide a basis for Lewis gene testing in new mothers.
"If we know whether a mother is colonized with group B streptococcus and know if she carries an active copy of the Lewis gene, it may give us an indication of how likely she is to pass the bacteria on to her baby, and more personalized preventive measures could be applied," he explains.
Breast milk for reducing the risk of asthma symptoms
The latest study on breast milk provides further evidence of the health benefits of breast-feeding,after finding infants with a genetic susceptibility for asthma development are less likely to experience symptoms of the condition if they are breast-fed.
Asthma is big problem for new born baby. This disease is estimated to affect around 8.6 percent of children and adolescent sin the United States, making it one of the most common chronic childhood diseases.
Asthma symptoms are the same for children as for adults; these include wheezing, coughing, breathing problems, and chest tightness. However, because children have smaller airways, symptoms may be more severe.
As a result, asthma is the third leading cause of hospital stays and a leading cause of missed school days for children in the U.S.
While the precise causes of asthma remain unclear, studies have suggested the respiratory condition may arise as a result of environmental and genetic factors.
For example, researchers have associated gene variants in the region 17q21 - located on chromosome 17 - with increased risk of childhood asthma, and a study published earlier this year found children with such variants were more likely to experience asthma symptoms as a result of environmental triggers.
But according to the researchers of this latest study - including Dr. Olga Gorlanova of the University Children's Hospital Basel (UKBB) and the University of Basel, Switzerland - breast-feeding could protect against such symptoms in children with 17q21 gene variants.
The team's findings were recently presented at the European Respiratory Society's International Congress 2016 in the United Kingdom.