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1.  Clinical characteristics and outcomes of influenza and other influenza-like illnesses in Mexico City 
Influenza-like illnesses (ILI) are estimated to cause millions of deaths annually. Despite this disease burden, the etiologic causes of ILI are poorly described for many geographical regions.
Beginning in April 2010, we conducted an observational cohort study at five hospitals in Mexico City, enrolling subjects who met the criteria for ILI. Evaluations were conducted at enrollment and on day 28, with the collection of clinical data and a nasopharyngeal swab (or nasal aspirate in children). Swabs were tested by multiplex PCR for 15 viral pathogens and real-time PCR for influenza.
During the first year, 1065 subjects were enrolled in this study, 55% of whom were hospitalized; 24% of all subjects were children. One or more pathogens were detected by PCR in 64% of subjects, most commonly rhinovirus (25% of all isolates) and influenza (24% of isolates). Six percent of subjects died, and of those, 54% had no pathogen identified. Rhinovirus was the most common pathogen among those who died, although it did not have the highest case fatality rate.
Multiple respiratory viruses beyond influenza are associated with significant morbidity and mortality among adults and children in Mexico City. Detection of these agents could be useful for the adjustment of antibiotic treatment in severe cases.
PMCID: PMC3655081  PMID: 23416208
Respiratory viral pathogens; Epidemiology; Hospital burden of disease; Influenza; Respiratory syncytial virus; Rhinovirus; Coronavirus
2.  Human milk adiponectin impacts infant weight trajectory during the second year of life 
Serum adiponectin (APN) is associated with lower childhood obesity, and APN concentration in human milk is associated with slower growth during active breastfeeding. Here, we examine infant weight gain in the second year of life after exposure to high or low levels of mother’s milk APN.
Breastfeeding mother-infant pairs were recruited in Mexico City and followed for 2 years; 192 infants with ≥12 months’ follow-up were analyzed. Monthly milk samples were assayed for APN; mothers were classified as producing high or low levels of milk APN. Infant and maternal serum APN were assessed during year 1. Infant anthropometry was measured monthly (year 1) or bi-monthly (year 2), and WHO Z-scores calculated. Longitudinal adjusted models assessed weight-for-age (WEI) and weight-for-length (WFL) Z-score trajectories from 1 to 2 years.
Maternal serum APN modestly correlated with milk APN (r=0.37, p<0.0001) and infant serum APN (r=0.29, p=0.01). Infants exposed to high milk APN experienced increasing WEI and WFL Z-scores between age 1 and 2 years in contrast to low milk APN exposure (p for group*time=0.02 and 0.054, respectively), adjusting for growth in the first 6 months and other covariates. In contrast, infant serum APN in year 1 was not associated with rate of weight gain in year 2.
High human milk APN exposure was associated with accelerated weight trajectory during the second year of life suggesting its role in catch up growth after slower weight gain during the first year of life.
PMCID: PMC3299902  PMID: 22094897
adiponectin; human milk; breastfeeding; weight gain; infancy
3.  Human Milk Adiponectin Is Associated with Infant Growth in Two Independent Cohorts 
Breastfeeding Medicine  2009;4(2):101-109.
Adiponectin, a circulating adipocyte protein, is associated with lower obesity. We have previously shown that adiponectin is present in human milk. This study determined whether higher milk adiponectin is associated with infant growth and investigated milk adiponectin's oligomeric form.
Design and Methods
This is a study of two parallel longitudinal cohorts of breastfed infants born between 1998 and 2005. Forty-five mother–infant pairs from Cincinnati, OH and 277 mother–infant pairs from Mexico City, Mexico were analyzed. All participants were healthy, term infants breastfed at least 1 month who completed 6 months of follow-up. Monthly milk samples (n = 1,379) up to 6 months were assayed for adiponectin by radioimmunoassay. Infant weight-for-age, length-for-age, and weight-for-length Z-scores up to 6 months of age were calculated using World Health Organization standards. Repeated-measures analysis was conducted. The structural form of human milk adiponectin was assessed by western blot.
In the population studies, initial milk adiponectin was 24.0 ± 8.6 μg/L and did not differ by cohort. Over the first 6 months, higher milk adiponectin was associated with lower infant weight-for-age Z-score (−0.20 ± 0.04, p < 0.0001) and weight-for-length Z-score (−0.29 ± 0.08, p = 0.0002) but not length-for-age Z-score, adjusted for covariates, with no difference by cohort. By western blot, human milk adiponectin was predominantly in the biologically active high-molecular-weight form.
Our data suggest milk adiponectin may play a role in the early growth and development of breastfed infants.
PMCID: PMC2779028  PMID: 19500050
4.  Human Milk Secretory Antibodies against Attaching and Effacing Escherichia coli Antigens 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2003;9(5):545-551.
Secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) is a primary factor responsible for preventing attachment of enteropathogens to gut epithelium in breastfeeding infants. We compared the frequency of sIgA to major surface antigens of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) in milk of 123 women from the United States and Mexico to determine whether regional differences existed in the frequency of antibodies to these surface antigens. In both groups of women, milk commonly has sIgA against various EHEC lipopolysaccharides, EspA, EspB, intimin, and less frequently against Shiga toxin. The study suggests that persons living in the U.S. are exposed to attaching/effacing enteropathogens more frequently than is generally assumed. The low frequency of antibodies to Stx1 (in 12% of Mexican and in 22% of U.S. samples) suggests that the rare appearance of hemolytic uremic syndrome in adults is not due to neutralization of toxin at the gut level. Only anti-EspA is found in most milk samples from both populations of women. EspA may represent a useful target for an immunization strategy to prevent EHEC disease in humans.
PMCID: PMC2972756  PMID: 12737737
Shiga toxin; EHEC; Escherichia coli; human milk; colostrum; EspA; research

Results 1-4 (4)