Kathyayini Parlakoti Gopalakrishna, MBBS, PhD

  • Postdoctoral Fellow

Kathy has worked on how the maternal immunoglobulin A (IgA) shapes the early neonatal microbiota and protects against the development of Necrotizing Enterocolitis in preterm infants. Analysis of IgA-binding of fecal bacteria from preterm infants indicated that maternal milk was the predominant source of IgA in the first month of life and that a relative decrease in IgA-bound bacteria is associated with the development of NEC. A heterogeneity of the IgA repertoire was observed in the breast milk of different mothers. Sequencing of IgA-bound and unbound bacteria revealed that, prior to disease onset, NEC was associated with increasing domination of the IgA-unbound microbiota by Enterobacteriaceae. Further, it was confirmed that IgA is critical for early neonatal colonization in a murine model, where pups reared by IgA deficient mothers have increased Enterobacteriaceae in their fecal matter. Thus, maternal IgA shapes the host-microbiota relationship of preterm neonates and IgA is a critical and necessary factor in maternal milk for the prevention of NEC.

Education & Training

  • MBBS, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (Bangalore, India), 2012
  • PhD, Human Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, 2019

Selected Publications

Gopalakrishna KP, Macadangdang BR, Rogers MB, Tometich JT, Firek BA, Baker R, Ji J, Burr AH, Ma C, Good M, Morowitz MJ, Hand TW. Maternal IgA protects against the development of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants. Nature medicine. 2019 Jul;25(7):1110-5.

Cruz PC, Wanek AG, Kumar P, An X, Elsegeiny W, Horne W, Fitch A, Burr AH, Gopalakrishna KP, Chen K, Methé BA, Canna SW, Hand TW, Kolls JK. Intestinal IL-17R Signaling Constrains IL-18-Driven Liver Inflammation by the Regulation of Microbiome-Derived Products. Cell reports. 2019 Nov 19;29(8):2270-83.

Gopalakrishna KP, Hand TW. Influence of Maternal Milk on the Neonatal Intestinal Microbiome. Nutrients. 2020 Mar;12(3):823.

Gopalakrishna K. Maternal immunoglobulin A shapes the early neonatal microbiota and protects against the development of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pittsburgh).

Full Publication List via NIH PubMed »

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