Amsterdam researchers find Covid-19 antibodies in breast milk
Researchers at Amsterdam UMC's Emma Children's Hospital found antibodies against the coronavirus in the breast milk of women who had been infected with Covid-19. The antibodies were still present after the milk was heated, important because breast milk is only usable to others after it had been pasteurized, the researchers said, NU.nl reports.
Further research is needed to find out whether breast milk can be used to protect vulnerable groups against a Covid-19 infection, but Hans van Goudoever, head of the Emma Children's Hospital, is hopeful. "We think that after drinking the milk, the antibodies attach themselves to the surface of our mucous membranes. There they attack the virus particles before they enter the body."
The hospital is currently recruiting women to donate breast milk. The researchers think they'll need about a thousand donors, including women who did not have Covid-19 or did not realize they were infected because they were asymptomatic.
This study is being done in collaboration with the Dutch Breast Milk Bank, the Experimental Virology Department, Wageningen Research & Development, Utrecht University, Sanquin, and Viroclinics.