Identifying SARS-CoV-2 in breast milk as a potential means of vertical transmission

Principal Investigators

  • Victoria Fumadó

    SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital

  • Carles Lerin

    SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital

Objectives

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, breastfeeding continues to be the gold standard for infant nutrition. However, while myriad studies are investigating numerous aspects of SARS-CoV-2, its potential transmission to infants via breastfeeding remains unclear. The main objective of this project is to determine whether breast milk acts as a vehicle for vertical transmission of either SARS-CoV-2 or antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in mothers with past or current documented SARS-CoV-2 infection. The project has 4 specific aims:

  1. To determine whether SARS-CoV-2 is present in breast milk from mothers with past or current SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  2. To assess the presence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in breast milk from mothers with past or current SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  3. To analyze the impact of past or current SARS-CoV-2 infection on the breast milk microbiome, metabolome, and immune profiling.
  4. To determine the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the infant gut microbiome and developmental progress.

PROJECT DESIGN

This is a multicentric prospective study of mother-infant dyads with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Ten hospitals from Astúries, Barcelona, Granada, València, Valladolid and Saragossa, as well as the University Complutense of Madrid and the National Research Council (CSIC) are involved. The study is led by Dr. Cecilia Martínez (Hospital Clínic Universitari, València) and Dr. Carmen Collado (IATA, CSIC, València).

COHORTS

  • Cases: lactating women with less than 1 month of breastfeeding who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 or antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
  • Controls: asymptomatic lactating women with less than 1 month of breastfeeding who have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 or antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

SAMPLES

  • Breast milk samples at less than 1 month after giving birth.
  • Infant fecal samples at less than 1 month after giving birth