Influence of lactoferrin in preventing preterm delivery: A pilot study
Corrigendum in: /mmr/7/4/1366
Affiliations: Department of Maternal-Infant and Radiological Sciences, University Hospital G. Rodolico, Catania, Italy, Department of Bio-medical Sciences, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
- Published online on: September 13, 2011 https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2011.584
- Pages: 162-166
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Lactoferrin (Lf) is an approximately 80-kDa iron-binding glycoprotein, belonging to the transferrin family, with well-known bacteriostatic and bactericidal properties. It is produced and stored in specific (secondary) neutrophil granules and released during neutrophil activation and degranulation. Nowadays, Lf has a well-known therapeutic indication for combating iron deficiency anemia (IDA) in pregnant women. Studies suggest that Lf plays an important role against cervicovaginal infections by decreasing cytokines levels, such as interleukin (IL)-6, in cervicovaginal fluid. The aim of this preliminary trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of Lf in preventing preterm delivery caused by cervical infections and ripening. From November 2009 to August 2010, 21 pregnant women (26-32 weeks pregnant), aged between 22 and 36 years, suffering from IDA, at risk of preterm delivery, were prospectively enrolled in the study. One group (N=14) received 100 mg of recombinant human lactoferrin (rhLf) (lattoferrina; AG-pharma®) twice a day before meals, for one month. The other group (N=7) received 520 mg of ferrous sulfate (Ferro-Grad®; Abbott Laboratories, USA) once a day. The patients underwent transvaginal ultrasound to evaluate cervical length and funneling, and vaginal swabs were used to detect infections and cervicovaginal fluid sample collection to determine IL-6 levels. The results showed a correlation between the oral administration of 200 mg of rhLf with both the normalization of vaginal flora (vaginal infection disappearance) and the decrease in IL-6 cervicovaginal fluid levels in women at risk of preterm delivery.