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SEMINAR: Does Breastfeeding impact on post-natal immune development and long term susceptibility to allergy?

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Today's date is Saturday, May 28, 2022
Does Breastfeeding impact on post-natal immune development and long term susceptibility to allergy? : School of Human Sciences, Seminar Series Other events...
Breast milk protects against infant infections, increases intelligence quotient, and probably reduces overweight and diabetes in later life 1. In contrast, protective effect of breast milk on development of allergies is far from being established 1.

The main objective of our research is the identification of factors which could endow breastfeeding with the capacity to prevent allergic disease as potently as it does for infectious disease.

Our working hypothesis is that maternal milk composition has not adapted to the needs of allergy prevention due to the recent and rapid increase of allergy. Modulation of breast milk composition may be the best strategy to counteract allergy development. In particular, we propose that breastmilk factors could impact on long term allergy susceptibility by affecting oral tolerance induction to allergens2.

Our data in mice have highlighted that neonates are intrinsically refractory to oral immune tolerance induction3, 4. In contrast to adults, neonates require exogenous factors, such TGF-b and IgG, to be responsive to tolerance induction to orally administered antigen3, 4.. These immune-modulatory factors are physiologically brought by maternal milk and their variable levels, as well as of allergens, may explain inconsistent findings on prevention of allergy by breastfeeding2, 5, 6. We further demonstrated that the mechanisms of oral tolerance physiologically develop during the first post-natal weeks to become independent of maternal factors7, 8. Vitamin A in maternal milk was found to be essential for this physiological maturation process7, 8. Finally, we recently observed, both in the mice and in human birth cohorts, that some respiratory allergens such as from house dust mite, can be found in breast milk and increase the risk of allergic disease in offspring9, 10. Protease from house dust mite induce a Th2 gut immune imbalance in the neonate that prevents oral tolerance induction (Rekima et al, in revision).

The identification of factors in early life that condition gut immune ontogeny should help to improve strategies of prevention of both allergic2 and infectious disease11, 12 .
Speaker(s) Professor Valerie Verhasselt, School of Molecular Sciencs, UWA
Location John Bloomfield Lecture Theatre, UWA School of Human Sciences (Exercise and Sport Science) adjacent to Parkway Entrance 3.
Contact Christine Page <[email protected]> : +64887126
Start Tue, 20 Mar 2018 13:00
End Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:00
Submitted by Christine Page <[email protected]>
Last Updated Mon, 19 Mar 2018 09:24
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