Originally Posted by OnTheFence
I wonder how someone in poverty could pay for such a test since insurance will not pay for it unless it is medically necessary. I mean this in all seriousness. I ask because I have had this done on me TWICE in the last 7 years. I had three viles of blood taken the first time and just one series of tests was $1500. The others were $800 each. I had to actually argue to get my insurance to pay. The second time, even more blood was drawn and the lab bill was more than $3K. My oldest son had it done at age 16m (before he ever got a vaccine) and his lab bill I had to pay out of pocket was $2300. That was in 2002.
I don't know where you went for that! But I have gotten titers taken 3 different times. Each time was either covered by my insurance (before I got a different vax as a teenager) or when I worked at the hospital. $2300 is an awful big risk to take on a new hire. And they said it was easier and cheaper than just vaxxing everyone.
And the view that the antibodies are only absorbed by the GI system and not the bloodstream is discussed here:http://www.hu.mtu.edu/aarst/2002/amy_koerber.pdf
Nice to know the basis of the studies were funded by formula companies in the 50's-60's. Progress.
Antibodies, which are also called immunoglobulins, take five basic forms, denoted as IgG, IgA, IgM, IgD and IgE. All have been found in human milk, but by far the most abundant type is IgA, specifically the form known as secretory IgA, which is found in great amounts throughout the gut and respiratory system of adults. These antibodies consist of two joined IgA molecules and a so-called secretory component that seems to shield the antibody molecules from being degraded by the gastric acid and digestive enzymes in the stomach and intestines. Infants who are bottle-fed have few means for battling ingested pathogens until they begin making secretory IgA on their own, often several weeks or even months after birth.
The secretory IgA molecules passed to the suckling child are helpful in ways that go beyond their ability to bind to microorganisms and keep them away from the body's tissues. First, the collection of antibodies transmitted to an infant is highly targeted against pathogens in that child's immediate surroundings. The mother synthesizes antibodies when she ingests, inhales or otherwise comes in contact with a disease-causing agent. Each antibody she makes is specific to that agent; that is, it binds to a single protein, or antigen, on the agent and will not waste time attacking irrelevant substances. Because the mother makes antibodies only to pathogens in her environment, the baby receives the protection it most needs-against the infectious agents it is most likely to encounter in the first weeks of life.
...(Read page for more, very long)http://www.mamadearest.ca/en/info/newman/protects.htm
Immunoglobulins IgA, IgG, IgM and IgD are all found in human milk. Of these the most important is IgA, which appears to be both synthesised and stored in the breast. It 'paints' the intestinal epithelium and protects the mucosal surfaces against entry of pathogenic bacteria and enteroviruses. It affords protections against E. coli, salmonellae, shigellae, streptococci, staphylococci, pneumococci, poliovirus and the rotaviruses.http://www.gentlebirth.org/vre/newimmun.html
It's baffling that some health professionals still believe that there is no benefit from breastmilk to babies after they are six months old. Long-term breastfeeding and natural weaning (letting your child decide when to wean) is by far the healthiest thing you can do. Immune protection continues to improve throughout the duration of breastfeeding (Hanson 1998).
Colostrum actually works as a natural and 100% safe vaccine. It contains large quantities of an antibody called secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) which is a new substance to the newborn. Before your baby was born, he received the benefit
of another antibody, called IgG, through your placenta. IgG worked through the baby's circulatory system, but IgA protects the baby in the places most likely to come under attack from germs, namely the mucous membranes in the throat, lungs, and intestines.http://www.hpakids.org/HTML/index.ht...ofbreastmi.htm
Colostrum, the milk mothers produce in the first few days after birth, is especially rich in IgA, just at the time when the newborn is first exposed to the outside world and needs protection from germs and foreign substances entering his body. Colostrum also contains higher amounts of white blood cells and infection-fighting substances than mature milk. Think of colostrum as your baby's first important immunization.
Immunities made-to-order. Each mother provides custom-designed milk to protect her infant. When a baby is exposed to a new germ, mother's body manufactures antibodies to that germ. These antibodies show up in her milk and are passed along to her baby. Many a nursing mother can tell the story of the entire family--dad, mom, siblings--coming down with the flu and the nursing baby having the mildest case, or not getting sick at all. When mother comes down with a bug, the best thing she can do for her baby is to keep breastfeedinghttp://www.askdrsears.com/html/2/t020600.asp
There is a school of thought that the so-called minor childhood illnesses of former times, including measles, mumps, chicken pox, and rubella, which entered the body through the mucous membranes, served a necessary and positive purpose in challenging and strengthening the immune system of these membranes. Vaccines in contrast are injected directly into the body, consequently bypassing the mucous membranes, leaving the mucosal immunity relatively weak and stunted.
The many immune components in breastmilk can make a huge difference when it comes to keeping baby healthy. Even though baby does not receive enough of mom's IgG immunities via breastmilk to qualify as an immunization against a particular illness, there are many other immunities (IgA, certain fatty acids, etc) in the breastmilk that are active against the same illnesses.
As an example, what protection does baby get from the chicken pox (varicella) virus if mom had chicken pox as a child?
First off, baby would not be expected to be immune to chicken pox, particularly after 6-8 months when placental immunity has faded away. However, other immune factors in breastmilk will give baby some protection from chicken pox. Per Dr. Jack Newman (in How Breast Milk Protects Newborns), "Free fatty acids present in milk can damage the membranes of enveloped viruses, such as the chicken pox virus, which are packets of genetic material encased in protein shells." The secretory IgA in breastmilk has also been shown to be active against the chicken pox virus in vitro. Case reports suggest that--as with other viral infections--breastfed babies who get chicken pox will often (but not always) get milder cases.http://www.kellymom.com/health/meds/...rotection.html
So it's not just the colostrum, but other things in the breastmilk that give protection.
Some of the immune factors in breastmilk have been shown to increase in concentration as the baby gets older and nurses less, so older babies still receive lots of immune factors. So as a baby starts to nurse less (weaning) and milk supply decreases, the concentration of immunities increases. This isn't age-dependent, but depends on the amount of milk that baby is removing from the breast. [source: Goldman AS et al. "Immunologic components in human milk during weaning." Acta Paediatr Scand. 1983 Jan;72(1):133-4.]
Concentration of Immunologic Components in Human Milk
Average Concentration, mg/ml
(I'm leaving out the uncertainty factors to make this more readable)
2-3 days 1 mo 6 mo 12 mo 13-15 mo 16-24 mo
Lactoferrin 5.3 1.9 1.4 1.0 1.1 1.2
Secretory IgA 2 1 0.5 0.8 1.1 1.1
Lysozyme 0.09 0.02 0.25 0.196 0.244 0.187
Table 6-5 "Concentration of Immunologic Factors in Human Milk During Several Phases of Lactation" from: Nutrition During Lactation, Institute of Medicine, 1991, p. 134.
Table 5-2 "Concentration of immunologic components in human milk collected during second year of lactation" from: Lawrence R and Lawrence R. Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession, 5th ed. St. Louis: Mosby, 1999, p. 169 .
Immune factors found in human milk
Chondroitin sulphate (-like)
Free secretory component
Gangliosides GM1-3, GD1a, GT1b, GQ1b
Glycolipid Gb3, Gb
Glycoproteins (sialic acid-containing or terminal galactose)
Lactadherin (mucin-associated glycoprotein)
Milk cells (macrophages, neutrophils, B & T lymphocytes)
Mucin (muc-1; milk fat globulin membrane)
Nonimmunoglobulin macromolecules (milk fat, proteins)
(Tri to penta) phosphorylated beta-casein
Prostaglandins E1, E2, F2 alpha
Secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (antileukocyte protease; SLPI)
Sialyloligosaccharides on sIgA(Fc)
Soluble bacterial pattern recognition receptor CD14
Soluble intracellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1)
Soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1)
Xanthine oxidase (with added hypoxanthine)
Human milk - Tables of the antimicrobial factors and microbiological contaminants relevant to human milk banking (with continued updating) by Dr. John T. May, PhDhttp://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/mi...nefactors.html
Human milk immunoglobulins
Human milk contains all of the different antibodies (M, A, D, G, E), but secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) is the most abundant. Milk-derived sIgA is a significant source of passively acquired immunity for the infant during the weeks before the endogenous production of sIgA occurs. During this time of reduced neonatal gut immune function, the infant has limited defense against ingested pathogens. Therefore, sIgA is an important protective factor against infection.
Assuming that the mother and her infant, who are closely associated, share common flora, the antigenic specificity of the mother's sIgA in her milk is directed against the same antigens in the neonate. Maternal immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies derived from the gut and respiratory immune surveillance systems are transported via blood and lymphatic circulations to the mammary gland, ultimately to be extruded into her milk as sIgA. The packaging of IgA with a secretory component unique to the mammary gland protects the sIgA from stomach acids, allowing it to reach the small intestine intact.
Other immunologic properties of human milk
In addition to antibodies, human milk has numerous factors that can affect the intestinal microflora of the baby. These factors enhance the colonization of some bacteria while inhibiting the colonization by others. The immunologic components include lactoferrin, which binds to iron, thus making it unavailable to pathogenic bacteria; lysozyme, which enhances sIgA bactericidal activity against gram-negative organisms; oligosaccharides, which intercept bacteria and form harmless compounds that the baby excretes; milk lipids, which damage membranes of enveloped viruses; and mucins, which are present on the milk-fat globule membrane. Mucins adhere to bacteria and viruses and help eliminate them from the body. Interferon and fibronectin have antiviral activities and enhance lytic properties of milk leukocytes.http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic2594.htm
Breast-fed babies have fewer illnesses because human milk transfers to the infant a mother's antibodies to disease. About 80 percent of the cells in breast milk are macrophages, cells that kill bacteria, fungi and viruses. Breast-fed babies are protected, in varying degrees, from a number of illnesses, including pneumonia, botulism, bronchitis, staphylococcal infections, influenza, ear infections, and German measles. Furthermore, mothers produce antibodies to whatever disease is present in their environment, making their milk custom-designed to fight the diseases their babies are exposed to as well.http://www.fda.gov/fdac/reprints/breastfed.html