A new study led by researchers at UCLA Health finds no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 transmission through breastmilk. The authors found that while a small proportion of breastmilk samples from recently infected mothers contained COVID-19 genetic material, this did not translate into the presence of infectious replicating viral particles or lead to evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in breastfeeding infants.
The study was published in the journal Pediatric Research.
The University of California researchers analyzed breastmilk samples from 110 lactating women who donated to the Mommy’s Milk Human Milk Biorepository at the University of California, San Diego between March and September 2020. Of the 110 women included, 65 had a positive COVID-19 test, while 9 had symptoms but tested negative, and 36 were symptomatic but were not tested.
“Breastmilk is an invaluable source of nutrition to infants. In our study, we found no evidence that breastmilk from mothers infected with COVID-19 contained infectious genetic material and no clinical evidence was found to suggest the infants got infected, which suggests breastfeeding is not likely to be a hazard,” said lead author Dr. Paul Krogstad, a pediatric infectious disease researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.