Hope for antibodies to coronavirus in breast milk

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Hope for antibodies to coronavirus in breast milk

Photo: Valua Vitaly – Fotolia

Researchers from Amsterdam University Medical Center (UMC) are looking for antibodies against the coronavirus to be found in the breast milk of women who have had a Covid-19 infection. If so, they want to study whether a drug for vulnerable groups can be made from this breast milk. This is stated on the site of the medical center in the Dutch capital.


“We know that breast milk protects newborn children against respiratory infections,” said Britt van Keulen, a doctor at the Dutch Mother’s Milk Bank of Amsterdam UMC and involved in the study. “That’s because there are antibodies in breast milk,” she continues. “By breastfeeding, the mother passes on her own antibodies to her child.”

Van Keulen suspects that corona antibodies could also pass into breast milk. She refers to a woman who was pregnant during the 2003 SARS outbreak. “This woman became seriously infected with the SARS virus and gave birth to a healthy baby at 38 weeks. Antibodies to the SARS virus were found in her breast milk. If you know that the coronavirus is very similar to the SARS virus – they are from the same family – then I think that corona antibodies also end up in breast milk. ”

The Amsterdam UMC study requires thirty women who have had a COVID infection and who can provide breast milk. “That can be difficult, because few pregnant women with a proven infection are known.”

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