Breast Milk and Vertical Transmission of SARS-CoV-2

Should breastfeeding women take care of the vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2? Let’s study the role of COVID-19 in lactation

Description of the Study:

  • Title: Identifying SARS-CoV-2 in Breast Milk as a Potential Means of Vertical Transmission.
  • Principal Investigators: Victoria Fumadó and Carles Lerin.
  • Centers of Implementation: Ten hospitals from Asturias, Barcelona (Hospital Sant Joan de Déu), Granada, Valencia (Hospital Clínic Universitari), Valladolid and Zaragoza, as well as the University Complutense of Madrid and the National Research Council (CSIC) are involved.
  • Study Population: Lactating women with less than 1 month of breastfeeding who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 or antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
  • Study Type: Multicentric prospective study.
  • Design:  There is a control group consisting of asymptomatic breastfeeding women with less than one month of lactation who have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 or antibodies against it.
  • Method: Samples of breast milk will be taken at less than 1 month after giving birth as well as infant fecal samples at less than 1 month after giving birth.

Objectives of the Study:

Principal Objective: To determine whether breast milk acts as a vehicle for vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 or antibodies against it in mothers who have had or have SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Secondary Objectives:
(1) To determine if SARS-CoV-2 or antibodies against it are present in breast milk  from mothers with past or current SARS-CoV-2 infection.
(2) To analyze the impact of past or current SARS-CoV-2 infection on the breast milk microbiome, metabolome, and immune profiling.
(3) To determine the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the infant gut microbiome and developmental progress.

More about this Study:

Context: Breastfeeding continues being the most common way for infant nutrition. However, although a while a large number of studies are investigating numerous aspects of SARS-CoV-2, its potential transmission to infants via lactation remains unclear. Hence, this study aims to determine whether lactation could be a vertical transmission vehicle for COVID-19.

Sant Joan de Déu: It is a university hospital specializing in the fields of pediatrics, gynecology, and obstetrics, which has a long history of more than 150 years, during which it has undergone many transformations and changes due to the need to adapt both to the social and health conditions of the time and to technological advances and the evolution of health care.

Kids Corona: The Kids Corona platform, which the San Joan de Déu Hospital launched last April continues to offer answers to better understand the incidence, impact, and transmission capacity of COVID-19 in children and pregnant women. In other words, the platform gathers different Pediatrics studies related to COVID-19 to improve the treatment, outcome, and transmission, for instance at school such as in this study, of the pediatric population.

Other Kids Corona Projects:Susceptibility to COVID-19 in pediatric age: Study of cases and household contacts“, “SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion during the postoperative period in pediatric patients“, “Susceptibility to COVID-19 in pediatric age: Study of cases in school-like environments” and “Characterization of COVID-19 in the Pediatric Population: Study of Sero-surveillance and of Immunological and Biochemical Biomarkers of Disease Severity”.

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