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Breast feeding can prevent HIV infection transmission

William Paxton and Colleagues from University of Amsterdam has found that Breast feeding milk helps to prevent transmission of HIV infection to child. Though it is well// known that Mother to child transmission of HIV accounts for a large proportion of HIV infections in children, with many infected as a result of breastfeeding, which requires transfer of the virus across mucosal barriers. These researchers have found a mechanism by which human milk affects the HIV interactions with DC-SIGN that occurs during breast feeding. The results of the research will be published in Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The authors show that human milk can block the binding of HIV to the DC-SIGN (DC-SIGN, a DC lectin receptor, interacts with HIV and is found at high expression levels in tonsillar tissue), molecule expressed on dendritic cells and potently inhibit the transfer of HIV-1 to CD4+ T-lymphocytes. The researchers have found a compound in human milk which binds to DC-SIGN and found to have an inhibitory effect by fully alleviated with an antibody recognizing the Lewis X sugar epitope on this factor. Other major milk proteins do not bind to DC-SIGN nor inhibit viral transfer. These results demonstrate that protein associated Lewis X is necessary and sufficient to interact with DC-SIGN and block the interaction of DC-SIGN and HIV.

The identification of a factor in human milk that can block HIV-1 transmission, the ability of the factor to inhibit the virus from binding to DCs, and the potential immunomodulatory implications of such a compound has major implications for the development of agents that can block HIV transmission.

Information on Breast feeding in Medindia:

Feeding her baby is a lifetime experience for a woman and there is no substitute for the mother's milk to the child. This is one of the most beautiful periods in the life for both the mother and child where the bond for each other develops. Breast feeding not only develops a baby into a healthy human being, but also contributes greatly to the mental development. In this feature, an attempt is made to make the expectant mother understand the various aspects of breast-feeding and its importance.
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