Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Saliva can explain children’s weak immune defense, Swedish research shows

Date:
October 25, 2011
Source:
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish)
Summary:
Children have fewer components that strengthen their immune defense than adults do, according to a mapping of children’s saliva that was carried out by researchers in Sweden. The study may have found an explanation for children’s inability to fend off infections.

Children have fewer components that strengthen their immune defense than adults do. This is shown in a mapping of children's saliva that was carried out at Malmφ University in Sweden. The study may have found an explanation for children's inability to fend off infections.

The saliva in the oral cavity is produced by large and small saliva glands. Small saliva glands are thought to account for some ten percent of the secretion. They are found everywhere in the oral cavity's mucous linings, such as the tongue, lips, gums, and cheeks. The glands continuously produce a secretion that on the one hand lubricates the mucous linings and on the other hand contains antimicrobial substances, which are part of both the specific and unspecific immune defense. The secretion protects us against infections and keeps the oral cavity moist.

Mikael Sonesson, a specialist in orthodontics and teacher at the Faculty of Dentistry, Malmφ University, has studied whether the occurrence of specific and unspecific defense components in saliva differs with age. The study material examined consists of saliva collected with filter paper from various mucous lining areas in about 200 subjects. The subjects belong to three groups: preschool children, adolescents, and young adults.

"The main objective was to study the saliva flow and the occurrence of defense components in saliva from small saliva glands during the growth years. This has never been done before," says Mikael Sonesson.

The results show for instance that children have a smaller amount of the specific substance immunoglobulin A (IgA) compared with adults. The amount of some components belonging to the unspecific defense was similar, however.

The differences can be explained by the fact that the immune defense is not fully developed in small children. This development takes place at the age of ten to twelve years, although parts of the unspecific immune defense seem to be mature even in preschool children. Mikael Sonesson stresses that this explanation is thus far based only on the results of these preliminary studies.

Mikael Sonesson's studies mark the beginning of a mapping of defense components in healthy children. In cases of general diseases that require treatment with immunosuppressive drugs or radiation of the head/throat, the situation may be different. In such cases the immunological function of the defense components is probably crucial to the development of diseases in soft and hard tissues.

"There the differences may be of importance, and this is one of the things it would be interesting to study further."

The studies also reveal differences in growth between specific and unspecific defense components.

"It seems to take longer for the specific defense both in whole saliva and small-gland saliva to reach the adult level," says Mikael Sonesson, who plans new studies to examine the saliva of children undergoing orthodontic treatment.

"But more studies are required before we can say with certainty what importance these differences have."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). "Saliva can explain children’s weak immune defense, Swedish research shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111025121602.htm>.
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). (2011, October 25). Saliva can explain children’s weak immune defense, Swedish research shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111025121602.htm
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). "Saliva can explain children’s weak immune defense, Swedish research shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111025121602.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) — Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins