Human milk contains important immunological factors that protect the breast from infection and are thought to protect infants from infection, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Human milk immunological factors have not been well characterized in HIV-infected lactating women. Lysozyme, secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI), sodium (an indicator of mastitis), and HIV were measured in breast milk of 334 HIV-infected women at 6 weeks postpartum. Women with mastitis, as indicated by elevated breast milk sodium concentrations, had higher median levels lysozyme (290 vs 221 mg/L,p<0.04), SLPI (38 vs 19 mg/L,p<0.0001) and HIV (920 copies/mL vs undetectable,p<0.0001) compared with women without mastitis. Lower total plasma carotenoid levels (p<0.02) and higher maternal HIV load (p<0.006) by quartile were risk factors for mastitis. Mastitis, as indicated by elevated breast milk sodium levels, is associated with high concentrations of immunological factors and higher HIV load in breast milk.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor