Impact of Colostrum Administration in the Oropharyngeal Mucosa of Very Low Birth Weight Infants on the Rate of Late-Onset Sepsis: A Randomized Blinded Trial



Objectives: To evaluate the effects of oropharyngeal administration of colostrum in very low birth weight infants on the rate of late-onset sepsis compared to placebo.

Methods: We conducted a double-blind, randomized (1:1), placebo-controlled trial involving 52 preterm infants born before 30 weeks gestation and with a birth weight < 1500 g. Subjects received 0.2 ml of their mother’s colostrum or sterile water via oropharyngeal route every 3 hours for 3 days beginning at 48 to 96 hours of life. After therapy, the newborns were followed until hospital discharge or death.

Results: The sample consisted of 26 preterm infants born in the colostrum group and 26 preterm in the control group. Gestational age and birth weight (median and interquartile range (IQR)) were respectively [28.5 (8) vs 31 (11)] and [1.095 g (945) vs 1232.5 g (1.120)]. The results did not associate the administration of colostrum with the reduction of late sepsis [n = 13 (50%) vs n = 14 (53.8%)], as far as sepsis was confirmed by blood culture, the occurrence was higher. In the case group [n = 10 (38.5% vs 4 (15.4%)], there was also a higher mortality trend for the group receiving colostrum [n = 8 (30.8%) vs n = 3 (11.5%)].

Conclusions: This study suggests that oropharyngeal administration of colostrum does not decrease the rate of late-onset sepsis. These results may be associated with sample size, suggesting further studies.

Clinical Trial Registration: Rebec:  UTN: U1111-1203-3393

Financial Disclosure: The authors have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.

Keywords: oropharyngeal; colostrum; very low birth weight; sepsis; preterm