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Nutrients 2018, 10(9), 1228; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10091228

Lactoferrin: A Critical Player in Neonatal Host Defense

1
Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202, USA
2
Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, James Graham Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202, USA
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 4 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breastfeeding and Human Lactation)
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Abstract

Newborn infants are at a high risk for infection due to an under-developed immune system, and human milk has been shown to exhibit substantial anti-infective properties that serve to bolster neonatal defenses against multiple infections. Lactoferrin is the dominant whey protein in human milk and has been demonstrated to perform a wide array of antimicrobial and immunomodulatory functions and play a critical role in protecting the newborn infant from infection. This review summarizes data describing the structure and important functions performed by lactoferrin in protecting the neonate from infection and contributing to the maturation of the newborn innate and adaptive immune systems. We also briefly discuss clinical trials examining the utility of lactoferrin supplementation in the prevention of sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis in newborn infants. The data reviewed provide rationale for the continuation of studies to examine the effects of lactoferrin administration on the prevention of sepsis in the neonate. View Full-Text
Keywords: lactoferrin; human milk; infection; immunity lactoferrin; human milk; infection; immunity
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Telang, S. Lactoferrin: A Critical Player in Neonatal Host Defense. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1228.

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