Study Says Antibodies In Breast Milk Remain For 10 Months After Covid Infection
It’s been over a year since the Covid-19 pandemic has taken over the world. With every new Covid wave hitting the population, the fear amongst people is also increasing. Especially for those who might be in a vulnerable position, such as pregnant women. Many cases have come up where pregnant women have been infected with Covid, and it wasn’t until recently when the vaccines were okayed for them to take. But amidst all the chaos, there are studies taking place to understand the impact of Covid on expectant women. And the most recent studies show that the antibodies in breast milk remain for 10 months after Covid infection. That’s some good news!
Recently, data collected by researchers during a study shows that breastfeeding women who were infected with Covid continue to secrete antibodies in their breast milk for up to 10 months. And these virus-neutralizing antibodies present in breast milk also help to protect newborns from the virus. Yay for them babies!
Not only do these antibodies protect newborns against the virus, but researchers also believe that they can even be used for the treatment of patients that are severely infected with the Covid-19 virus. Researchers in the study think that these antibodies in breast milk can prevent the patient’s condition from getting worse.
Dr. Rebecca Powell from the Mount Sinai hospital, New York, headed the research on the virus-neutralizing antibodies that were present in breast milk. According to her, “This is the breastfeeding population, so knowing if there are antibodies in the milk, how long they’ll be protective after being infected, or which vaccine is going to give your baby the best antibody protection, is very important information, and will be relevant for a long time to come.”
As per the reports, the main antibody that is present in breast milk is the Secretory Immunoglobulin A (IgA). This main antibody sticks to the lining of the infant’s respiratory and intestinal tracts that helps to block viruses and bacterias from entering their bodies. And even though the researchers had previously discovered antibodies against Covid in breast milk, they weren’t sure if they neutralized the virus. Hence, Dr. Rebecca Powell and her team took breast milk samples from 75 women who had recovered from the infection. That is when they found that most of them had IgA antibodies and it could block the virus.
Once the study found that the antibodies remain in breast milk for up to 10 months, Dr. Rebecca Powell started thinking of extracting the IgA antibodies from the milk and using it for patients that are severely affected with Covid. She said, “It could be incredible therapy, because Secretory IgA is meant to be in these mucosal areas, such as the lining of the respiratory tract, and it survives and functions very well there… You could imagine if it was used in a nebulizer-type treatment, it might be very effective during that window where the person has gotten quite sick, but they’re not yet at the point of [being admitted to intensive care].”
This study has given relief to all the new mothers who were infected with Covid. And the discovery that states that extraction of these antibodies present in breast milk might be able to help patients that have been Covid infected and are very sick, has given new hope to the people of the world. I don’t know if it’s just me but with every passing study, I feel as though we’re a step closer to subduing Covid. Honestly, I can’t way to put an end to this pandemic!