Immunology & Immunological Disorders Poster Session



Materials & Methods


Discussion & Conclusion



INABIS '98 Home Page Your Session Symposia & Poster Sessions Plenary Sessions Exhibitors' Foyer Personal Itinerary New Search

Bactericidal Activity of Human Milk Complement System

Contact Person: Michael O. Ogundele (mogundel@yahoo.com)

Materials and Methods

Breast-milk samples were voluntarily donated by thirteen lactating mothers at various postpartum (PP) periods, by manual expression or a breast pump. The samples were placed in sterile plastic tubes and transported to the laboratory on ice and processed immediately or stored in small aliquots at -70 or 80C until use. One set of milk samples was collected in 20mM EDTA solution, while the other set of samples from the same mother was collected in an equivalent volume of PBS buffer only. The samples were classified as colostrum (1-4 days PP, 5 samples), transitional milk (5-30 days PP, 4 samples) and mature milk (>30 days PP, 4 samples) (10).

Defatted milk samples were obtained by dividing whole milk samples into smaller portions and centrifuging them twice at alternate rates of 500g or 3,000g at 4C for 15 min, aspirating the aqueous phase of the milk each time. During centrifugation, the milk separates into three layers, i.e. a cell pellet, a middle aqueous layer and an upper fat layer. The aqueous layers were collected each time and processed immediately or stored as small aliqouts at -70 or -80C.

Certain portions of the defatted breast-milk were also further clarified by centrifugation twice at 20,000g for 15 mins each at 4C.

Whole blood was collected in a 10-ml syringe without anticoagulants. The blood was allowed to clot at RT and then briefly stirred with a sterile Pasteur pipette, to remove the fibrin adhering to the syringe. The blood was then centrifuged at 1,500g at 4C without brake. The serum supernatant was collected and stored at -70C.

Samples of defatted and whole breast-milk, as well as serum or plasma, were heated in a water bath at 56C for 30 min to inactivate the complement activity.

A complement-sensitive strain of Escherichia coli NCTC 8007, serotype 0111 K58(B4) H2 was used, in comparison with another E coli strain 0125 (19).

Bacteria were cultured overnight in blood agar and suspended in sterile normal saline adjusted to 3 x 108 colony-forming units (CFU) per ml using the McFarland method (25). 20l of the adjusted bacteria was added to round-bottom micotiter wells (Nunc A/S, Roskilde, Denmark) with 80l of the milk oe serum sample to be tested. The trays were thoroughly mixed on an orbital mixer before and after incubation at 37C for 2 hrs. Samples of 20l were taken from each well before and after incubation for viable counts using poured plate method (14).

Wholemilk and defatted (or clarified) milk samples, stored at -70C or -80C, were tested heat-treated or not, with or without addition of Mg2+ EGTA (to support the alternative pathway of C activation), and compared with was tested undefatted and defatted, heat-treated (56C, 30 min) and non heat-treated, with and without added normal human serum and heat-inactivated serum.

The contribution of the complement system was estimated from the difference between the bactericidal effect of fresh milk and the milk heated at 56C for 30 minutes and fresh milk sample collected in 20mM EDTA.

Flat-bottomed microtiter plates (Nunc A/S, Roskilde, Denmark) were coated overnight with a suspension of bacteria (Escherichia coli NCTC 8007, serotype 0111 K58(B4) H2), at 3 x 107/ml, in coating buffer containing 0.05M sodium bicarbonate. Unsaturated binding sites were blocked with aqueous solution of 0.5% (w/v) gelatin. Different milk samples, peroxidase-conjugated rabbit anti-human C3d antibodies and 2,2 Azino-di(3-ethylbenzthiazolinsulphuric 6 acid (ABTS) as substrate (Boehringer, Mannheim, Germany), containing 2.5mM hydrogen peroxide, were added to the plates consecutively. The incubation steps were separated by one to three washes with PBS/0.05% (w/v) Tween 20. A standard curve was included on each plate by serial dilution of purified human C3b in PBS-Tween sandwiched between a capture monoclonal antibody (I3/15) (18) and peroxidase-conjugated rabbit anti-C3d.

The optical density of the reaction was read within 10-30 min in a photometer (Thermostat microplate photometer, from MGW-Biotech). The level of opsonization by each milk specimen on the solid-phase bacteria was obtained by substracting the level of opsonin deposited by an heated (56C, 30 min) sample, from that obtained from an unheated sample from the same donor. The level obtained from the heated sample constitutes the background deposition of preformed opsonins.

Back to the top.

<= Introduction MATERIALS & METHODS Results =>

| Discussion Board | Next Page | Your Poster Session |
Ogundele, M.O.; (1998). Bactericidal Activity of Human Milk Complement System. Presented at INABIS '98 - 5th Internet World Congress on Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, Canada, Dec 7-16th. Available at URL http://www.mcmaster.ca/inabis98/immunology/ogundele0172/index.html
© 1998 Author(s) Hold Copyright