March 1988

Rotavirus Serotype—Specific Neutralizing Activity in Human Milk

Author Affiliations

From The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology (Drs Bell, Clark, Offit, and Plotkin); the Division of Infectious Diseases, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Drs Bell, Clark, Offit, Arbeter, and Plotkin, and Ms Slight); and Albert Einstein Medical Center (Dr Arbeter), Philadelphia.

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(3):275-278. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150030045016

• A plaque reduction neutralization assay was used to determine rotavirus serotype—specific neutralizing activity in human breast milk from 25 mothers of upper socioeconomic background and 20 mothers of a lower socioeconomic status. Levels of neutralizing activity, as well as those of rotavirusspecific antibodies detected by enzymelinked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), were comparable for each socioeconomic group. Overall, neutralizing activity in human milk was detected in the majority of samples and can be increased many months postpartum. The prevalence of neutralization antibodies (titers, ≥ 1:10) was 77% against Wa (serotype 1), 86% against SA-11 (serotype 3), and 75% against NCDV (bovine) rotavirus. Rotavirus-specific IgA and IgG antibodies detected by ELISA (titers, ≥ 1:10) were present in 35% and 55% of breast milks, respectively. Sequential analysis of repeated breast milk samples from five individual mothers revealed that rotavirus neutralizing activity fluctuated over time, with high activity observed in one mother's milk at 18 months postpartum. Mothers who breast-fed for six months or more tended to have higher milk neutralizing titers against rotavirus.

(AJDC 1988;142:275-278)