The researchers will now examine whether the milk can be used to prevent corona infections, for example in vulnerable groups such as the elderly during a possible second wave.
The antibodies are still present after the milk has been heated (pasteurization). This is important because breast milk cannot be used by other people until it has been pasteurized. It remains to be seen whether breast milk will actually be effective as a preventive treatment against the coronavirus. Then the breast milk can be used for risk groups in case a second corona wave occurs.
“We believe that the antibodies stick to the surface of our mucous membranes after we drink the milk. There they attack the virus particles before they get into the body, ”says Hans van Goudoever, director of the Emma Children’s Hospital.
Emma Children’s Hospital is launching a campaign to recruit a thousand women who want to donate breast milk. These women are asked to pump 100 milliliters for the breast milk bank.
The research is a collaboration of the Amsterdam UMC Experimental Virology Department with the Dutch Breast Milk Bank, Wageningen Research & Development, Utrecht University, Sanquin and Viroclinics.