Humanizing infant milk formula to decrease postnatal HIV transmission
There are currently no safe methods for feeding babies born from the 16 million HIV-infected women living in resource-constrained countries. Breast milk can transmit HIV, and formula feeding can lead to gastrointestinal illnesses owing to unsanitary conditions and the composition of milk formulations. There is therefore a need to ensure that breast milk substitutes provide optimal health outcomes. Given that the immune properties of several breast milk proteins are known, transgenic food crops could facilitate inexpensive and safe reconstitution of the beneficial breast milk proteome in infant formulae, while keeping the HIV virus at bay. At least seven breast milk immune proteins have already been produced in food crops, and dozens more proteins could potentially be produced if fortified formula proves effective in nursing newborns born to HIV-infected mothers.
Journal: - Volume 25, Issue 9, September 2007, Pages 376–384