Breastmilk contains antibodies that could protect breastfed infants from infections. In this work, we examined if antibodies in breastmilk could neutralize SARS-CoV-2 in 84 breastmilk samples from women that were either vaccinated (Comirnaty, mRNA-1273, or ChAdOx1), infected with SARS-CoV-2, or both infected and vaccinated. The neutralization capacity of these sera was tested using pseudotyped vesicular stomatitis virus carrying either the Wuhan-Hu-1, Delta, or BA.1 Omicron spike proteins. We found that natural infection resulted in higher neutralizing titers and that neutralization correlated positively with levels of immunoglobulin A in breastmilk. In addition, significant differences in the capacity to produce neutralizing antibodies were observed between both mRNA-based vaccines and the adenovirus-vectored ChAdOx1 COVID-19 vaccine. Overall, our results indicate that breastmilk from naturally infected women or those vaccinated with mRNA-based vaccines contains SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies that could potentially provide protection to breastfed infants from infection.
Available online 4 May 2023, 106802