Immune response in breastmilk to COVID 19 and SARS-CoV-2 immunization

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Immune response in breastmilk to COVID 19 and SARS-CoV-2 immunization

Dr Kathleen Acaro’s UMass Amherst team, in collaboration with Dr Heidi Leftwich’s group at UMass Medical School Amherst has done a study of Antibodies and Cytokines in the colostrum (initial breast milk) of new Moms. We continue to recruit women who are lactating and have COVID-19 but are also working with women, mainly medical staff, who are nursing infants and get the new SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

** We have completed nationwide recruitment from the UMass Amherst location  and are no longer seeking new participants. Our thanks to everyone who signed up**

Cartoon graphic for COVID-19 main structural elementsMilk donation by lactating women with COVID19

We continue to recruit nursing Moms with COVID who delivered within the past 5 months. There is more detail for the project on our COVID webpage .
We also did a study with Dr. Heidi Leftwich which looked at antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and at levels of cytokines. The spike protein is the feature to which the new vaccines target the immune system. Cytokines are proteins produced by another part of the immune system as part of an ‘inflammatory response’ – that is involved in those ‘Flu like symptoms’ that we get with COVID-19, many other viruses and sometimes after getting immunized. You can read a summary of the study or the full text. This has been submitted for review and publication.

Milk Donation by nursing Moms getting COVID-19 vaccine

** We have completed nationwide recruitment from the UMass Amherst location  and are no longer seeking new participants. Our thanks to everyone who signed up**

We are starting a study of breastmilk from nursing Moms getting the COVID-19 vaccines. This project started because women working in hospital settings have approached us. We were surprised they were getting immunized as the vaccines were not specifically tested in pregnant and lactating women, however we now see there are practice guidelines that say vaccine should be offered to eligible lactating women. You can contact us about the study. We are asking interested Moms to freeze left and right milk samples a day or so before being immunized.  Check out a TV news clip about doctor-moms donating milk for vaccine-response studies.

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