Antibodies against covid-19 can be passed through breast milk – Science & Health

Scientists detected the presence of three types of defense molecules of the human organism in samples provided by women who had recovered from covid-19. According to the study now published, breast milk contains elements that can strengthen babies’ immune systems against SARS-CoV-2, just as a vaccine does, even if with a lesser effectiveness.

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The study was published in the scientific journal iScience and according to the same, the breast milk of patients who recovered from covid-19 contains antibodies against the pathology. The scientists who carried out this study work at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, United States.

In total, samples from eight donors who had been infected with the new coronavirus and seven with suspected infection were examined. The scientists wanted to identify the presence of IgA antibodies, which are commonly found in secretions in the body. Recent investigations have found IgA antibodies, abundant in the mucous membranes of those infected with the new coronavirus, are the first to appear when the body contracts SARS-Cov-2 and, at the same time, the ones that best neutralize it.

Of the 15 samples analyzed, 80% showed a strong IgA response against SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, 67% contained IgM antibodies (the first to react when the immune system detects a viral infection) and IgG (which are the most abundant).

“Overall, these data indicate that a robust sIgA-dominant response [anticorpo IgA normalmente encontrado em muco] SARS-CoV-2 in human milk after infection should be expected in a significant majority of individuals “, pointed out the study authors, cited by the iScience.

However, scientific work has some limitations, because not all volunteers were subjected to a PCR-type exam, so it cannot be declared with absolute certainty that they contracted covid-19, with seven who were only suspected of having been infected. . This leads the study’s authors to declare that it is necessary to look for more evidence about these initial findings, with more volunteers and more samples.

In addition, it remains to be seen whether the antibodies provided by breast milk can actually protect babies from Covid.

The scientists said: “The SARS-CoV-2 immune response in human milk has not yet been examined, although protecting babies and young children from Covid-19 is critical to limiting transmission in the community and preventing serious illness and death.”

Breastfeed while infected
UNICEF said that mothers who are breastfeeding babies and contracting SARS-CoV-2 can continue to breastfeed as long as they follow all necessary precautions, with limited studies conducted so far not detecting the virus in breast milk.

It is therefore uncertain whether a mother infected with the virus that causes covid-19 can transmit the virus during the baby’s feeding. However, the major concern is the child’s upward breathing during the process.

Therefore, mothers infected with covid-19, or with suspicion, should take safety measures before breastfeeding, such as washing their hands before holding the baby and wearing a mask to avoid transmitting the virus through respiratory droplets when in contact next.

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