Abstract Title:

Human Milk Antibodies Against SARS-CoV-2: A Longitudinal Follow-Up Study.

Abstract Source:

J Hum Lact. 2021 Jul 26:8903344211030171. Epub 2021 Jul 26. PMID: 34308720

Abstract Author(s):

Hannah G Juncker, M Romijn, Veerle N Loth, Tom G Caniels, Christianne J M de Groot, Dasja Pajkrt, Marit J van Gils, Johannes B van Goudoever, Britt J van Keulen

Article Affiliation:

Hannah G Juncker


BACKGROUND: Human milk contains antibodies against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) following Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). These antibodies may serve as protection against COVID-19 in infants. However, the evolution of these human milk antibodies over time is unclear.

RESEARCH AIM: To elucidate the evolution of immunoglobulin A (IgA) against SARS-CoV-2 in human milk after a SARS-CoV-2 infection.

METHODS: This longitudinal follow-up study included lactating mothers (= 24) who had participated in the COVID MILK study. To assess the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, serum and human milk samples were collected 14-143 days after the onset of clinical symptoms related to COVID-19. Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay was used to detect antibodies against the ectodomain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 antibodies remain present up to 5 months (143 days) in human milk after onset of COVID-19 symptoms. Overall, SARS-CoV-2 IgA in human milk seems to gradually decrease over time.

CONCLUSION: Human milk from SARS-CoV-2 convalescent lactating mothers contains specific IgA antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein up to at least 5 months post-infection. Passive viral immunity can be transferred via human milk and may serve as protection for infants against COVID-19. Dutch Trial Register on May 1st, 2020, number: NL 8575, URL: https://www.trialregister.nl/trial/8575.

Study Type : Human Study

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