The role of colostral antibodies in prevention of microbial infections

Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2001 Jun;14(3):295-300. doi: 10.1097/00001432-200106000-00008.


Mammalian colostrum offers passive protection to the newborn against a variety of microbial pathogens, in the form of specific immunoglobulin A, G and M antibodies. Sharing maternal immunological memory is in many cases vital for the infant, but may have disastrous consequences, such as involuntary transfer of disease and disturbance of the developing immune system. In most published studies, immune milk preparations are reported to be effective in the prevention of various gastroenteric infections, but not in the treatment of an established infection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / immunology*
  • Cattle
  • Colostrum / immunology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Maternally-Acquired*
  • Infections / immunology*
  • Infections / microbiology
  • Infections / parasitology
  • Pregnancy


  • Antibodies