Kathyayini Gopalakrishna (HUGEN '20) won a travel award from the Society of Mucosal Immunology to give an oral presentation at the 19th International Congress of Mucosal Immunology 2019, held at Brisbane, Australia. Gopalakrishna was first author on a paper that found that maternal IgA protects against the development of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants.
An antibody in breastmilk is necessary to prevent necrotizing enterocolitis - an often deadly bacterial disease of the intestine - in preterm infants. The findings suggest that the antibody content of donor milk shoudl be tested so that the most protective milk can be targeted to the most at-risk infants.
The article was originally published in Nature Medicine and was covered extensively in the media.
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