Virolactia in an Asymptomatic Mother with COVID-19

Breastfeed Med. 2020 Aug;15(8):488-491. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2020.0161. Epub 2020 Jul 1.


Background: Limited data are available on the perinatal and postnatal transmission of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommended breastfeeding with necessary precautions to mothers with COVID-19. Case Presentation: A 20-year-old pregnant woman with no symptoms of COVID-19 presented to the hospital for delivery at 39 weeks of gestation. She was tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) because her father had been diagnosed with COVID-19. A nasopharyngeal swab RT-PCR test was positive for SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, the baby and the mother were cared for separately after delivery. Breast milk obtained after first lactation was tested by real-time RT-PCR and was positive for SARS-CoV-2. Conclusions: In this article, we aimed to report the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in breast milk. Although further studies are needed, this situation may have an impact on breastfeeding recommendations.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2 PCR; breast milk; breastfeeding; coronavirus; neonate.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asymptomatic Diseases / therapy
  • Betacoronavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Breast Feeding* / adverse effects
  • Breast Feeding* / methods
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques / methods
  • Coronavirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections* / physiopathology
  • Coronavirus Infections* / prevention & control
  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control*
  • Milk, Human / virology*
  • Pandemics* / prevention & control
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / physiopathology
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / physiopathology
  • SARS-CoV-2