Research Topic

Breast Milk and Passive Immunity during the COVID-19 Pandemic

About this Research Topic

Newborns receive passive immunity through antibody transfer via the placenta and breast milk following natural infection and immunization. Passive immunity is critical for the protection against neonatal infectious diseases as newborns possess an immature immune system, which makes them vulnerable to the ...

Newborns receive passive immunity through antibody transfer via the placenta and breast milk following natural infection and immunization. Passive immunity is critical for the protection against neonatal infectious diseases as newborns possess an immature immune system, which makes them vulnerable to the invasion of pathogenic microorganisms. Recent studies reported that the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant and lactating women increased SARS-CoV-2-antibodies and transported to infant cord blood and breast milk. Natural infection and vaccination in women can induce antibody responses and T-cell responses against SARS-CoV-2. However, the effectiveness and differences of neutralizing antibodies between natural infection (mucosal immunity) and immunization (systemic immunity) are not well understood. Whether antibody responses in breast milk correlate with protection against neonatal COVID-19 infection remains to be determined. In addition, the durability of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies in breast milk in COVID-19-vaccinated women is still unknown.

New variants are evolving in SARS-CoV-2, and RBD mutations are associated with enhanced infectivity, greater transmissibility, and a higher capacity to evade/escape from neutralizing antibodies. COVID-19 vaccine or natural infection can educate the immunity, but it still unknown whether antibodies transferred to neonates will protect against the SARS-CoV-2 mutations from variants of concern. Lastly, investigations are required to identify the maternal factors (including genetics, nutrition, preexisting immunity, and health conditions) that enhance the immune responses against pediatric infectious diseases.

This Research Topic will focus on Breast Milk and Passive Immunity during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Authors can submit original research, review, mini review, commentary, and opinion articles focused on but not limited to:

(1) COVID-19 vaccine and immune responses in breast milk;
(2) natural infection and vaccination of COVID-19 in mother-infant immunity;
(3) neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 from variants of concern in breast milk; and
(4) maternal factors improving passive immunity during COVID-19.

VDM is an employee at Medolac Laboratories. LB and HVG have no conflict of interest to disclose.


Keywords: breastfeeding, breast milk, SARS-CoV-2, infant feeding, passive immunity, antibody


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31 March 2022 Manuscript

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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