• The Importance of Breastfeeding in Rotaviral Diarrhoeas

    Mal J Nutr 18(1): 103-111, 2012

    The Importance of Breastfeeding in Rotaviral Diarrhoeas 
    Prameela KK1 & Vijaya LR2

    1 Department of Paediatrics, 2 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, MAHSA University, College, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    ABSTRACT

    Globally, rotaviral vaccines in use today have contributed to the reduction of the incidence of rotaviral diarrhoeas. Despite the substantial protection conferred by the current vaccines against the rotaviral strains, it is only prudent to recognise that other protective factors, like breastfeeding, also provide some degree of protection against this disease. This article has attempted to review some important mechanisms of protection in breast milk against the rotaviruses and highlight the oft forgotten non-immunoglobulin fraction in breast milk as an additional tool of protection against rotavirus disease. The adaptive capacity of breast milk to environment is another compelling reason to continue breastfeeding as it can usefully complement and be significant in the use of many vaccines. Vital immunoprotective constituents in breast milk beneficially protect the infant by initiating and strengthening many immune responses and should be borne in mind as essential tools of defence even in an era where vaccines play a pivotal role in the combat against certain diseases. It is impressive that besides nutritive advantages, the suckling infant enjoys appreciable immunoprotection via exclusive breastfeeding.

    Keywords: Breastfeeding, rotavirus, vaccines, immunoprotection

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