Manzoni P. Pediatrics. 2012;129:116-123.
Giving bovine lactoferrin to very low birth weight
babies may reduce the incidence of invasive fungal infections in this
population, according to a study published online.
Paolo Manzoni, MD, with S. Anna Hospital in
Torino, Italy, and colleagues reported data from their secondary analysis of a
study they conducted of 472 low birth weight newborns randomly assigned to
receive bovine lactoferrin 100 mg/day, bovine lactoferrin plus
Lactobacillus or placebo. In the primary analysis, Manzoni and
colleagues reported that the bovine lactoferrin group was associated with a
decreased prevalence of late-onset sepsis.
In this analysis, Manzoni and colleagues demonstrate
that although the rates of fungal colonization in all groups were similar,
rates of systemic fungal infection were significantly lower in the two groups
given bovine lactoferrin (0.7% and 2%) than in the placebo group (7.7%).
The researchers noted no intolerances or adverse events
related to the bovine lactoferrin.
Invasive fungal infections pose a major problem to
viability of the most immature neonates, with increasing attributable and
related short- and long-term morbidity, Manzoni and colleagues wrote.
Bovine lactoferrin can exert a specific antifungal activity for its
peculiar ability to bind to the fungal cell walls receptors, thus
producing cell wall disruption. In addition, bovine lactoferrin is synergistic
with antifungal drugs such as fluconazole.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant