Flora Given by Mothers - 2

Flora Given by Mothers - 2

Infections Caused by Tempered Staphylococcus

Have neonatal infections totally disappeared by germ-free delivery in sanitary hospitals or nursing in clean newborn rooms? The actual situation is against our expectation; in fact neonatal infections in modern hospitals or clean neonatal rooms of maternity facilities have not disappeared but are causing many problems. One of the typical examples is neonatal skin infection caused by staphylococcus aureus.

It is said that staphylococcus1 settle in the nasal cavity or umbilical cord of infants right after delivery together with other bacteria of the flora. They are transferred from the adult with whom they first get in touch.This is because about 20 to 40% of adults have staphylococcus in their nasal cavities. If the staphylococcus is highly pathogenic, it may cause skin infections, sometimes combined with the factors of the host, that is the newborns.

Then what happens to newborns in poor hygienic conditions? According to an old study in one of the Central American nations, there was no infection caused by staphylococcus in babies born at home in rural towns with poor hygiene. On the contrary there were many infections for those born in delivery rooms of hospitals with modern facilities.

Babies born in hospitals are separated from their mother right after delivery and transferred to a newborn room. Therefore they fail to receive enough bacteria from their mothers and miss an opportunity to establish flora on their own. Babies also can get in touch with people of various occupations working in hospitals. Staphylococcus can be transferred by these people to newborns whose immune system has not well developed. The staphylococcus has been tampered with drugs and sterilization liquids. This bad staphylococcus with drug resistance damages the skin of newborns.

Antibody Given by Mothers
On the contrary neonates born at home receive various bacteria from their mothers including even staphylococcus; these bacteria settle and multiply not only in the mucous membrane of nasal cavity but also skin and intestinal organs, thereby forming a flora of a newborn. Since the antibody was already given while the baby was in the uterus, the baby is highly unlikely to suffer from infections.

In addition, there is no room for bad staphylococcus of others to invade the mucous membrane where there is good staphylococcus. There is no room of pathogenic invasion in body parts where flora has already been established. It is just like weeds do not grow much in a lawn where there is much grass.

This micro ecological phenomenon is called interference2 of bacteria. Once some bacteria multiply and settle in certain parts of a body, the invasion of other bacteria is inhibited and there is no room for multiplication. This is an ecological idea. Newborns, held in the arms of their mothers, are protected by antibodies which they receive from their mothers through placenta as well as by other antibody in the process of breast feeding. Bacteria given by mothers settle and multiply in the nasal cavity, digestive organs etc. and prevent the invasion of bad bacteria. This takes place not only on the skin but also at every part of the body of newborns such as oral cavity and intestinal organs.

1: Staphylococcus
Many of them are gram-positive and stand-alone, diplococcus or irregular clumps. Staphylococcus aureus with a yellow pigment is the most pathogenic and causes suppuration.

2: Interference
A phenomenon that one bacterium inhibits the proliferation of others when two or more bacteria take on the same part of the body.

Kobayashi, Noboru (1981). "Hahaoya Kara Moratta Flora - 2"
(written in Japanese). Tokyo: Child Research Net. Retrieved June 8, 2005, from the World Wide Web
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