Chitotriosidase Levels in the Colostrum from Mothers of Term and Preterm Infants
Background: Breast milk Chitotriosidase (Chit 1) shows antifungal effect and has an active role in the natural immune response against certain pathogens. The aim of this study was to compare colostrum Chit 1 levels from mothers of term and preterm infants. Materials and Methods: The study included 72 mothers of 32 preterm and 40 term infants (gestational age; 33.7 +/- 1.8 vs. 39.1 +/- 1.1 weeks, birth weight; 1931.7 +/- 539.8 vs. 3350.9 +/- 419.7 g). Breast milk samples were taken at postnatal 24-48 hours. Chit 1 level was evaluated with the quantitative calorimetric method. Results: No significant difference was determined between the term and preterm groups in terms of maternal age, education level, weight gain in pregnancy, and body mass index (BMI). The median colostrum Chit 1 level was higher in the preterm group, but the difference was not statistically significant between two groups (p = 0.43). There is no association between colostrum Chit 1 level, maternal age, gravida, BMI, infant gender, income level, and pre-eclampsia. The colostrum Chit 1 level of mothers who had weight gain exceeding the recommended limits was significantly lower than mothers with weight gain within the recommended limits in the term group (4346.2 vs. 4914.2, p = 0.021). A negative correlation was determined between the birthweight of term infants and the colostrum Chit 1 levels (p = 0.045, r = -0.319). Conclusion: Although the data need to be validated by further investigation, the observations made in this study seem to indicate that colostrum Chit-1 may have role in the protection of preterm infants.