Thousands sign up to donate breast milk in Covid antibodies study
Over 5 thousand women have responded to the Emma Children's Hospital's call to donate breast milk. The hospital, which forms part of Amsterdam UMC, is looking into whether breast milk can be used to protect vulnerable groups against a Covid-19 infection. "Overwhelming. Our researchers are very enthusiastic about the great response," a spokesperson for the hospital said to AD.
Research by the hospital showed that the breast milk of women who recovered from Covid-19 contained antibodies against the coronavirus. The initial study showed that breast milk retained its antibodies even after being heated. That is important, because breast milk cannot be used by other people until after pasteurization. The researchers now want to find out whether breast milk can be used to protect vulnerable groups against the virus. They therefore called on women to donate to the breast milk bank, hoping to get a thousand donors.
"If that is the case, then breast milk can be used in risk groups when a second corona wave occurs. Imagine if a resident of a nursing home is infected, then we can ensure that the other residents receive breast milk in the form of ice cubes and hope they remain healthy," Hans van Goudoever of the Emma Children's hospital explained to the newspaper.
"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."