Objective: The antimicrobial substances in saliva contribute to the maintenance of both oral health and overall health of the body. Therefore, the associations among immunoglobulin A (IgA), lactoferrin and lysozyme flow rates in the saliva of children, and their relationships with the physical attributes and lifestyle factors of children, were examined. Materials and methods: Saliva was collected from 90 children who visited the Kanagawa Dental University Hospital Pediatric Dentistry, and questionnaires were completed by guardians. IgA, lactoferrin and lysozyme concentrations were measured in the saliva samples using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). Results: The IgA flow rate in saliva increased as age, height and weight increased. A correlation was found between lactoferrin and lysozyme flow rates. When the antimicrobial substance flow rates in the saliva were divided into two groups of 22 children each based on the highest and lowest quartiles, children with either a low or high IgA flow rate also had a high or low lactoferrin flow rate, respectively. The same pattern was observed for lactoferrin and lysozyme flow rates. Conclusions: There is a high probability that the IgA flow rate in the saliva of children reflects and corresponds to the developmental status of immune function as the child ages and increases in height and weight. The flow rates of lactoferrin and lysozyme were correlated in children. In addition, regarding lifestyle factors, the duration of sleep and lactoferrin flow rate were also related.
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