Mastitis is defined as an inflammation of the mammary gland. It often presents with the disease already at an advanced stage when the treatment is less effective and the health consequences for nursing mothers and their newborn babies are more severe.
From the pediatric viewpoint it is extremely important to predict occurrence of lactating mastitis as early as possible in order to prevent vertical transmission of infections from mother to infant as well as to prevent stopping of newborn breast feeding.
Biochemical investigations have shown that indigenous milk enzyme such as alkaline phosphatase (ALP) which is detectable in the cuboidal (epithelial) mammary gland cells, plays a very important diagnostic role in clinical medicine, since its activity varies in different tissues and serves as a specific indicator of diseased states.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate ALP activity in human colostrum as a possible early predictive biomarker for lactating mastitis in nursing mothers.
During a period from May to July 2010, a total of 60 healthy nursing mothers were prospectively followed from day 1 post- partum to the end of their lactation.
There was a significant difference in colostrum ALP activity (p<0.001) from the breast with mastitis when compared with both the contralateral asymptomatic breast and “healthy” breasts.
In our opinion, determining ALP activity in colostrums could be a valuable biochemical marker for an early prediction of mastitis in nursing mothers.