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1.
Breastfeed Med ; 2022 Jun 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901025

ABSTRACT

Background: Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, many birth hospitals separated SARS-CoV-2-positive mothers from their newborn infants and advised against breastfeeding to decrease postnatal SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Information on how these practices impacted breastfeeding postdischarge is limited. Objectives: In a statewide sample of SARS-CoV-2-positive mothers, we aimed to determine the extent to which (1) mother-infant separation and (2) a lack of breastfeeding initiation in-hospital were associated with breast milk feeding postdischarge. Design/Methods: From 11 birthing hospitals in Massachusetts, we identified 187 women who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 from 14 days before to 72 hours after delivery (March 1-July 31, 2020) and their newborn infants. We abstracted chart data from the delivery hospitalization on main exposure variables (mother-infant separation, in-hospital breast milk feeding [expressed milk feeding and/or direct breastfeeding]) and from outpatient visits until 30 days postdischarge. We evaluated associations of in-hospital practices with outcomes up to 30 days postdischarge, adjusting for confounders using multivariable logistic and linear regression. Results: Mother-infant separation in-hospital was associated with a shorter duration of any breast milk feeding (regression coefficient estimate -5.29 days, 95% confidence intervals [CI] [-8.89 to -1.69]). Direct breastfeeding in-hospital was associated with higher odds of any breast milk feeding (adjusted odds ratios [AOR] 5.68, 95% CI [1.65-23.63]) and direct breastfeeding (AOR 8.19, 95% CI [2.99-24.91]) postdischarge; results were similar for any breast milk feeding in-hospital. Conclusions: Perinatal hospital care practices implemented early in the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically mother-infant separation and prevention of breast milk feeding initiation, were associated with adverse effects on breast milk feeding outcomes assessed up to 1 month postdischarge.

2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 801797, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793017

ABSTRACT

Background: Limited data are available regarding the balance of risks and benefits from human milk and/or breastfeeding during and following maternal infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Objective: To investigate whether SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in milk and on the breast after maternal coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) diagnosis; and characterize concentrations of milk immunoglobulin (Ig) A specific to the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein receptor binding domain (RBD) during the 2 months after onset of symptoms or positive diagnostic test. Methods: Using a longitudinal study design, we collected milk and breast skin swabs one to seven times from 64 lactating women with COVID-19 over a 2-month period, beginning as early as the week of diagnosis. Milk and breast swabs were analyzed for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, and milk was tested for anti-RBD IgA. Results: SARS-CoV-2 was not detected in any milk sample or on 71% of breast swabs. Twenty-seven out of 29 (93%) breast swabs collected after breast washing tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 on the breast was associated with maternal coughing and other household COVID-19. Most (75%; 95% CI, 70-79%; n=316) milk samples contained anti-RBD IgA, and concentrations increased (P=.02) during the first two weeks following onset of COVID-19 symptoms or positive test. Milk-borne anti-RBD IgA persisted for at least two months in 77% of women. Conclusion: Milk produced by women with COVID-19 does not contain SARS-CoV-2 and is likely a lasting source of passive immunity via anti-RBD IgA. These results support recommendations encouraging lactating women to continue breastfeeding during and after COVID-19 illness.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/analysis , Immunoglobulin A/analysis , Milk, Human/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Breast Feeding , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Lactation , Longitudinal Studies , Milk, Human/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics
3.
Frontiers in immunology ; 12, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1610304

ABSTRACT

Background Limited data are available regarding the balance of risks and benefits from human milk and/or breastfeeding during and following maternal infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Objective To investigate whether SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in milk and on the breast after maternal coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) diagnosis;and characterize concentrations of milk immunoglobulin (Ig) A specific to the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein receptor binding domain (RBD) during the 2 months after onset of symptoms or positive diagnostic test. Methods Using a longitudinal study design, we collected milk and breast skin swabs one to seven times from 64 lactating women with COVID-19 over a 2-month period, beginning as early as the week of diagnosis. Milk and breast swabs were analyzed for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, and milk was tested for anti-RBD IgA. Results SARS-CoV-2 was not detected in any milk sample or on 71% of breast swabs. Twenty-seven out of 29 (93%) breast swabs collected after breast washing tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 on the breast was associated with maternal coughing and other household COVID-19. Most (75%;95% CI, 70-79%;n=316) milk samples contained anti-RBD IgA, and concentrations increased (P=.02) during the first two weeks following onset of COVID-19 symptoms or positive test. Milk-borne anti-RBD IgA persisted for at least two months in 77% of women. Conclusion Milk produced by women with COVID-19 does not contain SARS-CoV-2 and is likely a lasting source of passive immunity via anti-RBD IgA. These results support recommendations encouraging lactating women to continue breastfeeding during and after COVID-19 illness.

4.
Cell Rep ; 37(6): 109959, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1474393

ABSTRACT

Antibody transfer via breastmilk represents an evolutionary strategy to boost immunity in early life. Although severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific antibodies have been observed in the breastmilk, the functional quality of these antibodies remains unclear. Here, we apply systems serology to characterize SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies in maternal serum and breastmilk to compare the functional characteristics of antibodies in these fluids. Distinct SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody responses are observed in the serum and breastmilk of lactating individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, with a more dominant transfer of immunoglobulin A (IgA) and IgM into breastmilk. Although IgGs are present in breastmilk, they are functionally attenuated. We observe preferential transfer of antibodies capable of eliciting neutrophil phagocytosis and neutralization compared to other functions, pointing to selective transfer of certain functional antibodies to breastmilk. These data highlight the preferential transfer of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgA and IgM to breastmilk, accompanied by select IgG subpopulations, positioned to create a non-pathologic but protective barrier against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Milk, Human/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibody Formation/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/immunology , Lactation/immunology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
5.
J Perinatol ; 41(11): 2674-2683, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1297293

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We leveraged the Massachusetts perinatal quality collaborative (PQC) to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goals were to: (1) implement perinatal practices thought to reduce mother-to-infant SARS-CoV-2 transmission while limiting disruption of health-promoting practices and (2) do so without inequities attributable to race/ethnicity, language status, and social vulnerability. METHODS: Main outcomes were cesarean and preterm delivery, rooming-in, and breastfeeding. We examined changes over time overall and according to race/ethnicity, language status, and social vulnerability from 03/20-07/20 at 11 hospitals. RESULTS: Of 255 mothers with SARS-CoV-2, 67% were black or Hispanic and 47% were non-English speaking. Cesarean decreased (49% to 35%), while rooming-in (55% to 86%) and breastfeeding (53% to 72%) increased. These changes did not differ by race/ethnicity, language, or social vulnerability. CONCLUSIONS: Leveraging the Massachusetts PQC led to rapid changes in perinatal care during the COVID-19 crisis in a short time, representing a novel use of statewide PQC structures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Pandemics , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2 , 34658
6.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(4): e217523, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1198345

ABSTRACT

Importance: The incidence of mother-to-newborn SARS-CoV-2 transmission appears low and may be associated with biological and social factors. However, data are limited on the factors associated with neonatal clinical or viral testing outcomes. Objective: To ascertain the percentage of neonates who were born to mothers with positive SARS-CoV-2 test results during the birth hospitalization, the clinical and sociodemographic factors associated with neonatal test result positivity, and the clinical and virological outcomes for newborns during hospitalization and 30 days after discharge. Design, Setting, and Participants: This multicenter cohort study included 11 academic or community hospitals in Massachusetts and mother-neonate dyads whose delivery and discharge occurred between March 1, 2020, and July 31, 2020. Eligible dyads were identified at each participating hospital through local COVID-19 surveillance and infection control systems. Neonates were born to mothers with positive SARS-CoV-2 test results within 14 days before to 72 hours after delivery, and neonates were followed up for 30 days after birth hospital discharge. Exposures: Hypothesized maternal risk factors in neonatal test result positivity included maternal COVID-19 symptoms, vaginal delivery, rooming-in practice, Black race or Hispanic ethnicity, and zip code-derived social vulnerability index. Delivery indicated by worsening maternal COVID-19 symptoms was hypothesized to increase the risk of adverse neonatal health outcomes. Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcomes for neonates were (1) positive SARS-CoV-2 test results, (2) indicators of adverse health, and (3) clinical signs and viral testing. Test result positivity was defined as at least 1 positive result on a specimen obtained by nasopharyngeal swab using a polymerase chain reaction-based method. Clinical and testing data were obtained from electronic medical records of nonroutine health care visits within 30 days after hospital discharge. Results: The cohort included 255 neonates (mean [SD] gestational age at birth, 37.9 [2.6] weeks; 62 [24.3%] with low birth weight or preterm delivery) with 250 mothers (mean [SD] age, 30.4 [6.3] years; 121 [48.4%] were of Hispanic ethnicity). Of the 255 neonates who were born to mothers with SARS-CoV-2 infection, 225 (88.2%) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 and 5 (2.2%) had positive results during the birth hospitalization. High maternal social vulnerability was associated with higher likelihood of neonatal test result positivity (adjusted odds ratio, 4.95; 95% CI, 1.53-16.01; P = .008), adjusted for maternal COVID-19 symptoms, delivery mode, and rooming-in practice. Adverse outcomes during hospitalization were associated with preterm delivery indicated by worsening maternal COVID-19 symptoms. Of the 151 newborns with follow-up data, 28 had nonroutine clinical visits, 7 underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing, and 1 had a positive result. Conclusions and Relevance: The findings emphasize the importance of both biological and social factors in perinatal SARS-CoV-2 infection outcomes. Newborns exposed to SARS-CoV-2 were at risk for both direct and indirect adverse health outcomes, supporting efforts of ongoing surveillance of the virus and long-term follow-up.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Delivery, Obstetric , Infant, Newborn, Diseases , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical/statistics & numerical data , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , Delivery, Obstetric/methods , Delivery, Obstetric/statistics & numerical data , Female , Gestational Age , Humans , Infant, Low Birth Weight , Infant, Newborn , Infant, Newborn, Diseases/diagnosis , Infant, Newborn, Diseases/epidemiology , Infant, Newborn, Diseases/virology , Male , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Pregnancy Outcome/epidemiology , Premature Birth/epidemiology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Socioeconomic Factors
7.
mBio ; 12(1)2021 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1075939

ABSTRACT

Whether mother-to-infant SARS-CoV-2 transmission can occur during breastfeeding and, if so, whether the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh this risk during maternal COVID-19 illness remain important questions. Using RT-qPCR, we did not detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in any milk sample (n = 37) collected from 18 women following COVID-19 diagnosis. Although we detected evidence of viral RNA on 8 out of 70 breast skin swabs, only one was considered a conclusive positive result. In contrast, 76% of the milk samples collected from women with COVID-19 contained SARS-CoV-2-specific IgA, and 80% had SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG. In addition, 62% of the milk samples were able to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 infectivity in vitro, whereas milk samples collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic were unable to do so. Taken together, our data do not support mother-to-infant transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via milk. Importantly, milk produced by infected mothers is a beneficial source of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgA and IgG and neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 activity. These results support recommendations to continue breastfeeding during mild-to-moderate maternal COVID-19 illness.IMPORTANCE Results from prior studies assaying human milk for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the causative virus of COVID-19, have suggested milk may act as a potential vehicle for mother-to-child transmission. Most previous studies are limited because they followed only a few participants, were cross-sectional, and/or failed to report how milk was collected and/or analyzed. As such, considerable uncertainty remains regarding whether human milk is capable of transmitting SARS-CoV-2 from mother to child. Here, we report that repeated milk samples collected from 18 women following COVID-19 diagnosis did not contain SARS-CoV-2 RNA; however, risk of transmission via breast skin should be further evaluated. Importantly, we found that milk produced by infected mothers is a source of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgA and IgG and neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 activity. These results support recommendations to continue breastfeeding during mild-to-moderate maternal COVID-19 illness as milk likely provides specific immunologic benefits to infants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , Milk, Human/immunology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Breast/virology , Breast Feeding , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Infant , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Male , Milk, Human/virology , Mothers , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
8.
medRxiv ; 2020 Sep 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-807400

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: It is not known whether SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted from mother to infant during breastfeeding, and if so whether the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh this risk. This study was designed to evaluate 1) if SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be detected in milk and on the breast of infected women, 2) concentrations of milk-borne anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, and 3) the capacity of milk to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. METHODS: We collected 37 milk samples and 70 breast swabs (before and after breast washing) from 18 women recently diagnosed with COVID-19. Samples were analyzed for SARS-CoV-2 RNA using RT-qPCR. Milk was also analyzed for IgA and IgG specific for the nucleocapsid protein, receptor binding domain (RBD), S2 subunit of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, as well as 2 seasonal coronaviruses using ELISA; and for its ability to neutralize SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: We did not detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in any milk sample. In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected on several breast swabs, although only one was considered conclusive. All milk contained SARS-CoV-2-specific IgA and IgG, and levels of anti-RBD IgA correlated with SARS-CoV-2 neutralization. Strong correlations between levels of IgA and IgG to SARS-CoV-2 and seasonal coronaviruses were noted. CONCLUSIONS: Our data do not support maternal-to-child transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via milk; however, risk of transmission via breast skin should be further evaluated. Importantly, milk produced by infected mothers is a source of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgA and IgG and neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 activity. These results support recommendations to continue breastfeeding during mild-to-moderate maternal COVID-19 illness.

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