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The acute-phase protein SAA3 is present in the preterm human colostrum and breast milk
  1. Olatejumoye Knee1,
  2. Aashish Gupta1,2,
  3. Anna Curley1,
  4. D Stephen Charnock-Jones3,
  5. Gordon C S Smith3,
  6. Gusztav Belteki1
  1. 1Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatrics, Basildon University Hospital, Basildon, UK
  3. 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gusztav Belteki, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Box 402, The Rosie Hospital, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, UK; gusztav.belteki{at}

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Breast milk is not simply a source of macronutrients and micronutrients, but it also contains biologically active substances such as immunoglobulins, antioxidants, enzymes and growth factors. Breast milk is protective against necrotising enterocolitis (NEC), and this may be due to its effect on gut flora or its bioactive substances. Serum amyloid A3 (SAA3) is an acute-phase protein that is produced in mammals in response to inflammatory stimuli and participates in the innate immune response. In the mouse gut it is regulated by the microbiota and it inhibits the adherence of Escherichia Coli and prevents bacterial invasion of the intestinal wall.1 ,2 The main isoform of SAA3 is active in multiple tissues in animals but is inactive in humans due to a mutation …

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