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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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Contributors OK and GB performed the ELISA analysis. AG collected the samples. GB, AC, DS C-J and GS designed the study. GB wrote the manuscript. All authors reviewed and revised the manuscript.
Competing interests None.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval This study has been approved by the Cambridge Research Ethics Committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.