Journal of
Infectious Diseases and Immunity

  • Abbreviation: J. Infect. Dis. Immun.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2375
  • DOI: 10.5897/JIDI
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 83

Full Length Research Paper

Studies on the interaction between IgA, lactoferrin and lysozyme in the breastmilk of lactating women with sick and healthy babies

Ella, E. E.1*, Ahmad, A. A.2, Umoh, V. J.2, Ogala, W. N.3, Balogun, T. B.3 and Musa, A.3
1Centre for Biotechnology Research and Training, Ahmadu Bello University (A. B. U.), Zaria, Nigeria. 2Department of Microbiology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. 3Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital Shika, Zaria, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 December 2010
  •  Published: 28 February 2011


The IgA, lactoferrin and lysozyme levels in breastmilk samples of mothers with healthy babies and mothers whose babies developed septicaemia were analyzed by the enzyme – linked immunosorbent assay. The IgA level in the milk of mothers with healthy babies decreased from 183.48 ± 114.91 mg/l in colostrum to 147.75 ± 114.6 mg/l in mature milk while the level in mothers whose babies developed septicaemia rose from 221.22 ± 115.46 mg/l in colostrum to 267.81 ± 77.89 mg/l in mature milk. This rise in IgA level was marched with a rapid increase in lysozyme levels and with a gradual fall in the lactoferrin level. This correlated with an increase in the lysozyme level and a decrease in the lactoferrin levels. This correlation was statistically significant (p < 0.05). There was a gradual decrease in IgA level in the breastmilk of mothers with healthy babies and this corresponds to a gradual increase in the lysozyme and lactoferrin levels. This decrease correlated significantly with an increase in the lysozyme level. The lactoferrin levels also recorded a gradual rise as the milk transits from colostrum to mature milk. This rise however, did not correlate significantly with the fall in IgA level. There was however no correlation between lysozyme and lactoferrin in both milk the samples assayed.


Key words: Lactoferrin, lysozyme, septicaemia, IgA, lactoferrin, breastmilk, correlation.