Influence of maternal gut flora and colostral and cord serum antibodies on presence of Escherichia coli in faeces of the newborn infant

Acta Paediatr Scand. 1976 Mar;65(2):225-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1976.tb16542.x.


From 29 healthy newborn infants and their mothers faecal, serum and milk specimens were obtained on several occasions from one to nine weeks after delivery. Predominant faecal E. coli were serotyped with regard to the O antigen and milk and serum were analysed for their content of E. coli O antibodies by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In five cases the babies acquired the same O serotype as was found in the stools of their mothers but in 12 out of 29 cases infant and mother never had any dominating faecal E. coli O type in common. There was no apparent correlation between the patterns of feeding and interchange of bacteria. Klebsiella/Enterobacter was the dominating facultative organism on at least one occasion in half the infants. The newborns received colostral IgA and transplacental circulating IgG antibodies against a great number of E. coli O serotypes. These antibodies did not prevent intestinal colonization, as judged from cultures of faeces.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Colostrum / immunology*
  • Escherichia coli* / isolation & purification
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Serotyping


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin A