SARS-CoV-2-Specific IgG and IgA response in maternal blood and breastmilk of vaccinated naïve and convalescent lactating participants

Front Immunol. 2022 Oct 3:13:909995. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.909995. eCollection 2022.


Background: Recent studies have shown the presence of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies in the milk of breastfeeding mothers vaccinated with mRNA and convalescent. However, limited information is available in lactating women receiving other vaccine platforms used in developing countries, such as the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm) and the non-replicating adenovirus vaccines Sputnik V (Gamaleya Institute) and ChAdOx1-S (Oxford AstraZeneca).

Methods: Here, we evaluated anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgA levels in both serum and milk samples using a longitudinal and a cross-sectional cohort of 208 breastfeeding vaccinated women from Argentina with or without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Results: The analysis showed that IgA levels remain constant in serum and milk of breastfeeding mothers between the first and second doses of vector-based vaccines (Sputnik V and ChAdOx1-S). After the second dose, anti-spike IgA was found positive in 100% of the serum samples and in 66% of breastmilk samples. In addition, no significant differences in milk IgA levels were observed in participants receiving BBIBP-CorV, Sputnik V or ChAdOx1-S. IgG levels in milk increased after the second dose of vector-based vaccines. Paired longitudinal samples taken at 45 and 120 days after the second dose showed a decrease in milk IgG levels over time. Study of IgA levels in serum and milk of vaccinated naïve of infection and vaccinated-convalescent breastfeeding participants showed significantly higher levels in vaccinated-convalescent than in participants without previous infection.

Conclusion: This study is relevant to understand the protection against SARS-CoV-2 by passive immunity in newborns and children who are not yet eligible to receive vaccination.

Keywords: BBIBP-CorV; COVID-19 vaccine; ChAdOx1-S; SARS-CoV-2; Sputnik V; breastmilk; immune response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenovirus Vaccines*
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lactation
  • Milk, Human
  • RNA, Messenger
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Viral Vaccines*


  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Adenovirus Vaccines
  • Viral Vaccines
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • RNA, Messenger