Oral colostrum priming shortens hospitalization without changing the immunomicrobial milieu

J. Romano-Keeler, M. A. Azcarate-Peril, J. H. Weitkamp, J. C. Slaughter, W. H. McDonald, S. Meng, M. S. Latuga, J. L. Wynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Objective:Oral colostrum priming (OCP) after birth in preterm infants is associated with improved weight gain and modification of the oral immunomicrobial environment. We hypothesized that OCP would modify salivary immune peptides and the oral microbiota in preterm infants.Study design:We conducted a prospective, randomized clinical trial to determine the effects of OCP on salivary immune peptide representation in preterm infants (<32 weeks completed gestation at birth). Saliva samples were collected before and after OCP. Salivary immune peptide representation was determined via mass spectroscopy. Oral microbiota representation was determined via sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene.Results:Neonates who received OCP (n=48) had a 16-day reduction in the median length of hospitalization as compared with infants who did not receive OCP (n=51). No differences in salivary immune peptide sequence representation before OCP between groups were found. Longitudinal changes in peptides were detected (lysozyme C, immunoglobulin A, lactoferrin) but were limited to a single peptide difference (α-defensin 1) between primed and unprimed infants after OCP. We found no difference in microbial diversity between treatment groups at any time point, but diversity decreased significantly over time in both groups. OCP treatment marginally modified oral taxa with a decline in abundance of Streptococci in the OCP group at 30 days of life.Conclusions:OCP had neither an effect on the salivary peptides we examined nor on overall oral bacterial diversity and composition. Infants who received OCP had a reduced length of hospitalization and warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Oral colostrum priming shortens hospitalization without changing the immunomicrobial milieu'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this