Lactoferrin for prevention of neonatal sepsis
Preterm neonates are at risk to acquire infections. In addition to the high mortality associated with sepsis, these patients are at risk for long-term disabilities, particularly neurodevelopment impairment. Several interventions have been evaluated to reduce rates of infections in neonates but have not proven efficacy. Lactoferrin (LF), a milk glycoprotein with anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and anti-microbial properties, has the potential to prevent infections in young children. We performed a review of current and ongoing clinical trials of LF for prevention of neonatal sepsis, and found eleven registered clinical trials that include more than 6,000 subjects. Few of these trials have finished; despite their small sample size, the preliminary results show a trend towards a positive protective effect of LF on neonatal infections. Larger trials are underway to confirm the findings of these initial studies. This information will help to define LF’s role in clinical settings and, if proven effective, would profoundly affect the treatment of low birth weight neonates as a cost-effective intervention worldwide.
KeywordsLactoferrin Bovine lactoferrin Recombinant human lactoferrin Neonatal sepsis Prevention Clinical trial
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