Navigation Links
Newly discovered breast milk antibodies help neutralize HIV
Date:5/22/2012

DURHAM, N.C. Antibodies that help to stop the HIV virus have been found in breast milk. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center isolated the antibodies from immune cells called B cells in the breast milk of infected mothers in Malawi, and showed that the B cells in breast milk can generate neutralizing antibodies that may inhibit the virus that causes AIDS.

HIV-1 can be transmitted from mother to child via breastfeeding, posing a challenge for safe infant feeding practices in areas of high HIV-1 prevalence. But only one in 10 HIV-infected nursing mothers is known to pass the virus to their infants.

"That is remarkable, because nursing children are exposed multiple times each day during their first year of life," said senior author Sallie Permar, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics and infectious diseases at Duke. "We are asking if there is an immune response that protects 90 percent of infants, and could we harness that response to develop immune system prophylaxis (protection) during breastfeeding for mothers infected with HIV-1.

"Our work helped establish that these B cells in breast milk can produce HIV-neutralizing antibodies, so enhancing the response or getting more mucosal B-cells to produce those helpful antibodies would be useful, and this is a possible route to explore for HIV-1 vaccine development," Permar said.

The study was published on May 18 in PLoS One, an open-access journal published by the Public Library of Science.

"This is important work that seeks to understand what a vaccine must do to protect babies from mucosal transmission during breastfeeding," said Barton Haynes, M.D., co-author and a national leader in AIDS/HIV research, director of the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI), as well as director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI). "The antibodies isolated are the first HIV antibodies isolated from breast milk that react with the HIV-1 envelope, and it important to understand how they work to attack HIV-1."

The findings of two different antibodies with HIV-neutralizing properties isolated from breast milk also may help researchers with new investigations into adult-to-adult transmission, in addition to mother-to-child transmission.

Permar said that most HIV-1 transmission occurs at a mucosal site in the body surfaces lined with epithelial cells, such as the gastrointestinal tract or vaginal tissue. The mucosal compartments all have their own immune system cells.

"We're excited about this finding because the immune cells in mucosal compartments can cross-talk and traffic between compartments," Permar said. "So the antibodies we found in breast milk indicate that these same antibodies are able to be elicited in other tissues."

Interestingly, the Centers for Disease Control in the U.S. recommend against breastfeeding if a mother has HIV-1, because baby formula is a safe alternative for U.S.-born infants. The World Health Organization, however, encourages HIV-infected nursing mothers in resource-poor regions to breastfeed while the mother and/or infant take antiretroviral drugs to prevent the infection in the infant, because without the nutrients and immune factors in mothers' milk, many more infants would die from severe diarrhea and respiratory and other diseases.

At the DHVI and CHAVI, there are many projects aimed at designing neutralizing responses in vaccinated individuals, and for improved vaccines that display specific targets to the immune system before it gets infected, with the idea of eliciting protective responses that fight against HIV transmission. "Our work will be important in eliminating mother-to-child transmission and getting the types of responses needed for protecting all infants," Permar said.

The study itself wasn't easy to perform, she noted. The samples came from a group of women in Malawi who were recruited by CHAVI for this study.

"Successfully characterizing antibodies from such a fragile medium required global coordination and expertise across multiple fields and is a hopeful testament to the incredible amounts of work and leadership currently under way to fight this devastating disease," said first author James Friedman, a third-year medical student at Duke University School of Medicine. "To be a part of, and to contribute to such a large-scale and important effort is incredibly exciting."

Because of limited availability of the laboratory instrument needed to isolate single, viable immune cells in the region, the samples were not analyzed there. Instead, samples were frozen and transported for analysis. Keeping the breast milk under the right conditions for later thawing and testing of B cells and for isolating antibodies was a challenge, Permar said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mary Jane Gore
mary.gore@duke.edu
919-660-1309
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Key proteins newly discovered form and function may provide novel cancer treatment target
2. Scientists advance field of research with publication of newly validated method for analyzing flavanols in cocoa
3. Newly found protein helps cells build tissues
4. Newly discovered foot points to a new kid on the hominin block
5. Scripps Research discoveries lead to newly approved drug for infant respiratory distress syndrome
6. Newly released FDA draft guidelines for biosimilar drugs to be discussed at conference
7. UF research on newly formed plants could lead to improved crop fertility
8. The H1N1 flu vaccine protects both pregnant women and newly-borns
9. Newly identified DNA repair defect linked to increased risk of leukemia relapse
10. Newly identified antibodies may improve pneumonia vaccine design
11. Newly discovered cell mechanism uses amplified nitric oxide to fight C. diff
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/22/2016)... , December 22, 2016 SuperCom (NASDAQ: ... secure solutions for the e-Government, Public Safety, HealthCare, and Finance sectors ... SuperCom, has been selected to implement and deploy a community-based supportive ... Northern California , further expanding its presence in the ... This new ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... and GENEVA, Dec, 20, 2016   Valencell ... sensor technology, and STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a ... of electronics applications, announced today the launch of ... for biometric wearables that includes ST,s compact ... Valencell,s Benchmark™ biometric sensor system. Together, SensorTile ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... , Dec. 16, 2016   IdentyTechSolutions ... Identity management products and solutions and a cutting-edge ... today that it is offering seamless, integrated solutions ... security entrance products. The solutions provide IdentyTech,s customers ... secure their facilities from crime and theft. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/24/2017)... 2017  Today, the Fisher Center for Alzheimer,s Research ... important study that could lead to the development of ... disease. This groundbreaking research was conducted by the Fisher ... Laureate Dr. Paul Greengard , in the quest ... Fisher Center scientists have linked a mutation that protects ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... , Jan. 23, 2017  Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: ... committed to the fostering of technology and monetization of ... patent infringement lawsuits. Anthony Hayes , ... 2017, we will continue to communicate with shareholders about ... and our due diligence on other patent assets that ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... -- Atlas Genetics Ltd., the ultra-rapid Point-Of-Care (POC) ... financing, raising $35 million from a syndicate including all Series ... ... Atlas Genetics io® system has been completed with the successful ... February 2016.  This new Series D equity issue will finance ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... AxioMed will be presenting ... annual meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica from January 26-28th. “We’re excited to be ... surgeons to experience the simplicity of the surgical technique,” said Jake Lubinski, President ...
Breaking Biology Technology: