For breastfeeding moms, COVID-19 vaccinations may also protect babies
Major boost in COVID-19 antibodies seen in breast milk after vaccination
(Press-News.org) Nursing mothers who receive a COVID-19 vaccine may pass protective antibodies to their babies through breast milk for at least 80 days following vaccination, suggests new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
"Our study showed a huge boost in antibodies against the COVID-19 virus in breast milk starting two weeks after the first shot, and this response was sustained for the course of our study, which was almost three months long," said first author Jeannie Kelly, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology. "The antibodies levels were still high at the end of our study, so the protection likely extends even longer."
Based on the small study, involving five mothers who provided frozen breast milk samples after receiving the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, the research provides some of the first peer-reviewed evidence that breastfeeding confers a long-lasting immune response in the nursing infants and toddlers of vaccinated mothers.
"There is so much vaccine misinformation out there right now - really scary, misleading posts on social media that are designed to scare moms - so we felt like we needed to look at the science," Kelly said. "We know that these types of antibodies coat babies mouths and throats and protect against disease when a baby is drinking breast milk. So, getting vaccinated while breastfeeding not only protects mom, but also could protect the baby, too, and for months."
Published March 30 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the study tracked levels of COVID-19 antibodies in breast milk from a baseline before the mothers' first vaccinations and on a weekly basis for 80 days after those initial vaccinations.
While other recent research has shown that COVID-19 vaccines generate antibodies that are passed to nursing infants through breast milk, this is thought to be the first study to track specific levels of these antibodies in breast milk over an extended time period.
The babies of women included in the study ranged in age from one month to 24 months old. To gauge immune response in the breast milk, researchers monitored levels of the immunoglobulins IgA and IgG, which are antibodies deployed by the immune system to fight infections in babies.
Findings confirm that breast milk contains elevated levels of the IgA and IgG antibodies immediately following the first dose of vaccination, with both antibodies reaching immune-significant levels within 14 to 20 days of first vaccination in all participants.
"Our study is limited by a small number of participants, but the findings provide encouraging news about the potential immune benefit to breast-feeding infants after vaccination," said study senior author Misty Good, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics, also at Washington University. "Our paper is the first that has shown COVID-19 antibodies persist in breast milk for months following the mother's vaccination."
The Washington University findings are similar to prior studies on maternal vaccination, which have shown high levels of antibodies in breast milk for up to six months following vaccination for influenza and whooping cough.
While further studies of maternal COVID-19 vaccination are needed to characterize the length of antibody production in breast milk and the effect on infant infection rates, recent research continues to confirm that the COVID-19 vaccine offers real benefits for protecting both mother and child.
"We do know that COVID-19 infection is more severe during pregnancy and the main benefit of vaccination is to provide protection for moms before they become really sick, which can also be dangerous to their fetus," Kelly said. "There have now been almost 70,000 pregnant people vaccinated against COVID 19 with no evidence of harm."
"We're now seeing a cascade of new data that indicate maternal vaccines are also going to help protect babies -- both through transfer of antibodies through the placenta during pregnancy and through the breast milk during lactation," Kelly said. "This is information we didn't have a few months ago and it's really helping us better counsel our patients who are considering getting the vaccine. I'm telling my pregnant and breastfeeding moms that I strongly recommend that they get vaccinated as soon as possible."
Kelly JC, Carter EB, Raghuraman N, Nolan LS, Gong Q, Lewis AN, Good M. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies induced in breast milk after Pfizer-BioNTech/BNT162b2 vaccination. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. March 30, 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2021.03.031
This research is supported, in part, by the Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences which is, in part, supported by the NIH/National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) grant number UL1TR002345; the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital; The PEW Charitable Trusts Community Opioid Response and Evaluation (CORE); the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant numbers 5T32HD043010 and R01DK118568; an American Academy of Pediatrics Marshall Klaus Award; the St. Louis Children's Hospital Foundation; the Children's Discovery Institute of Washington University and St. Louis Children's Hospital; and the Department of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine.
Washington University School of Medicine's 1,500 faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals. The School of Medicine is a leader in medical research, teaching and patient care, consistently ranking among the top medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
Cells from individuals with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) were found to have higher than expected rates of methylation at specific sites on their DNA, when compared to cells from healthy individuals without MDD, according to a study by a multidisciplinary team of UC San Francisco scientists, in collaboration with others. Methylation is a process by which DNA is chemically modified at specific sites, resulting in changes in the expression of certain genes. Methylation of particular sets of genes, called "DNA methylation clocks," typically change in predictable ways as people ...
During the early phase of the pandemic, approximately 40% of the COVID-19 literature was shared as preprints - freely available manuscripts that are shared prior to peer-review. In a new study publishing in the open access journal PLOS Biology, researchers led by Dr Jonathon Coates (Queen Mary University of London), Dr Nicholas Fraser (Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, Germany) and Dr Liam Brierley (University of Liverpool) explore the crucial role of preprint servers in hosting COVID-19 related science and how these preprints have been used to disseminate knowledge of COVID-19, leading to cultural shifts in journalistic and policy practices.
There has been a rapid and incredible scientific response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with research ...
Innovation and advances in technology have facilitated agricultural activity in recent years, as traditional irrigation techniques have been supplanted by pressure-basedones, improving water efficiency but increasing energy dependence. This drives up the Agriculture sector's energy costs, some of the highest in the European Union.
With the aim of increasing the energy efficiency of irrigation, researchers at the Hydraulics and Irrigation Group with the María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence,at the Department of Agronomy of the University of Cordoba (DAUCO), Juan Antonio Rodríguez Díaz and Jorge García Morillo, have field-tested a low-cost technology that takes advantage of the excess pressure on the grid to generate energy. This ...
It is difficult to imagine our daily life without lithium-ion batteries. They dominate the small format battery market for portable electronic devices, and are also commonly used in electric vehicles. At the same time, lithium-ion batteries have a number of serious issues, including: a potential fire hazard and performance loss at cold temperatures; as well as a considerable environmental impact of spent battery disposal.
According to the leader of the team of researchers, Professor in the Department of Electrochemistry at St Petersburg University END ...
Ambient air pollution is a global public health crisis, causing more than 4.9 million premature deaths per year around the world. In Africa, it has surpassed AIDS as the leading cause of premature death. According to one study, air pollution--specifically, fine particulate matter (PM2.5)--may cause at least as many as 780,000 premature deaths annually in Africa and worsen a significant number of diseases, including asthma, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo, are both large metropolises. However, neither Kinshasa (population 14. 3 million) nor Brazzaville (population 2.4 million) have had comprehensive air quality monitoring programs. ...
Scientists at UCL have used artificial intelligence (AI) to identify three new multiple sclerosis (MS) subtypes. Researchers say the groundbreaking findings will help identify those people more likely to have disease progression and help target treatments more effectively.
MS affects over 2.8 million people globally and 130,000 in the UK, and is classified into four* 'courses' (groups), which are defined as either relapsing or progressive. Patients are categorised by a mixture of clinical observations, assisted by MRI brain images, and patients' symptoms. These observations guide the timing and choice of treatment.
For this study, published in Nature Communications, researchers wanted to find out if there were any - as yet unidentified - patterns ...
HOUSTON - (April 6, 2021) - Runoff from Houston's 2016 Tax Day flood and 2017's Hurricane Harvey flood carried human waste onto coral reefs more than 100 miles offshore in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, according to a Rice University study.
"We were pretty shocked," said marine biologist Adrienne Correa, co-author of the study in Frontiers in Marine Science. "One thing we always thought the Flower Garden Banks were safe from was terrestrial runoff and nutrient pollution. It's a jolt to realize that in these extreme events, it's not just the salt marsh or the seagrass that we need to worry about. Offshore ecosystems can be affected too."
The Flower Garden Banks sit atop several salt domes near the edge ...
Mitochondria, known as the powerhouses within human cells, generate the energy needed for cell survival. However, as a byproduct of this process, mitochondria also produce reactive oxygen species (ROS). At high enough concentrations, ROS cause oxidative damage and can even kill cells. An overabundance of ROS has been connected to various health issues, including cancers, neurological disorders, and heart disease.
An enzyme called manganese superoxide dismutase, or MnSOD, uses a mechanism involving electron and proton transfers to lower ROS levels in mitochondria, thus preventing oxidative damage and maintaining cell health. More than a quarter of known enzymes also rely on electron and proton transfers to facilitate cellular activities ...
Boron nitride is a technologically interesting material because it is very compatible with other two-dimensional crystalline structures. It therefore opens up pathways to artificial heterostructures or electronic devices built on them with fundamentally new properties.
About a year ago, a team from the Institute of Physics at Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Wuerzburg in Bavaria, Germany, succeeded in creating spin defects, also known as qubits, in a layered crystal of boron nitride and identifying them experimentally.
Recently, the team led by Professor ...
Misinformation about COVID-19 is spreading from the United States into Canada, undermining efforts to mitigate the pandemic. A study led by McGill University shows that Canadians who use social media are more likely to consume this misinformation, embrace false beliefs about COVID-19, and subsequently spread them.
Many Canadians believe conspiracy theories, poorly-sourced medical advice, and information trivializing the virus--even though news outlets and political leaders in the country have generally focused on providing reliable scientific information. How then, is misinformation spreading so rapidly?
"A lot of Canadians are struggling to understand COVID-19 denialism and anti-vaccination attitudes among their loved ones," says ...
LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:
[Press-News.org] For breastfeeding moms, COVID-19 vaccinations may also protect babies
Major boost in COVID-19 antibodies seen in breast milk after vaccination