Infants exposed to caregivers infected with SARS-CoV-2 may have heightened infection risks relative to older children due to their more intensive care and feeding needs. However, there has been limited research on COVID-19 outcomes in exposed infants beyond the neonatal period. Between June 2020 - March 2021, we conducted interviews and collected capillary dried blood spots from 46 SARS-CoV-2 infected mothers and their infants (aged 1-36 months) for up to two months following maternal infection onset (COVID+ group, 87% breastfeeding). Comparative data were also collected from 26 breastfeeding mothers with no known SARS-CoV-2 infection or exposures (breastfeeding control group), and 11 mothers who tested SARS-CoV-2 negative after experiencing symptoms or close contact exposure (COVID- group, 73% breastfeeding). Dried blood spots were assayed for anti-SARS-CoV-2 S-RBD IgG and IgA positivity and anti-SARS-CoV-2 S1 + S2 IgG concentrations. Within the COVID+ group, the mean probability of seropositivity among infant samples was lower than that of corresponding maternal samples (0.54 and 0.87, respectively, for IgG; 0.33 and 0.85, respectively, for IgA), with likelihood of infant infection positively associated with the number of maternal symptoms and other household infections reported. COVID+ mothers reported a lower incidence of COVID-19 symptoms among their infants as compared to themselves and other household adults, and infants had similar PCR positivity rates as other household children. No samples returned by COVID- mothers or their infants tested antibody positive. Among the breastfeeding control group, 44% of mothers but none of their infants tested antibody positive in at least one sample. Results support previous research demonstrating minimal risks to infants following maternal COVID-19 infection, including for breastfeeding infants.
Keywords: COVID-19; IgA; IgG; breastfeeding; infancy; pediatric.
Copyright © 2022 Martin, Keith, Pace, Williams, Ley, Barbosa-Leiker, Caffé, Smith, Kunkle, Lackey, Navarrete, Pace, Gogel, Eisenberg, Fehrenkamp, McGuire, McGuire, Meehan and Brindle.