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Front Immunol . Prevalence and duration of SARS-CoV-2 fecal shedding in breastfeeding dyads following maternal COVID-19 diagnosis

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  • Front Immunol . Prevalence and duration of SARS-CoV-2 fecal shedding in breastfeeding dyads following maternal COVID-19 diagnosis

    Front Immunol


    . 2024 Mar 21:15:1329092.
    doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2024.1329092. eCollection 2024. Prevalence and duration of SARS-CoV-2 fecal shedding in breastfeeding dyads following maternal COVID-19 diagnosis

    Ryan M Pace 1 2 , Elana A King-Nakaoka 3 4 , Andrew G Morse 3 4 , Kelsey J Pascoe 5 , Anna Winquist 6 , Beatrice Caffé 7 , Alexandra D Navarrete 8 , Kimberly A Lackey 1 , Christina D W Pace 1 , Bethaney D Fehrenkamp 1 3 4 , Caroline B Smith 7 , Melanie A Martin 9 10 , Celestina Barbosa-Leiker 5 , Sylvia H Ley 11 , Mark A McGuire 12 , Courtney L Meehan 7 , Janet E Williams 12 , Michelle K McGuire 1



    AffiliationsAbstract

    Background: There is a paucity of data on the presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in feces of lactating women with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and their breastfed infants as well as associations between fecal shedding and symptomatology.
    Objective: We examined whether and to what extent SARS-CoV-2 is detectable in the feces of lactating women and their breastfed infants following maternal COVID-19 diagnosis.
    Methods: This was a longitudinal study carried out from April 2020 to December 2021 involving 57 breastfeeding maternal-infant dyads: 33 dyads were enrolled within 7 d of maternal COVID-19 diagnosis, and 24 healthy dyads served as controls. Maternal/infant fecal samples were collected by participants, and surveys were administered via telephone over an 8-wk period. Feces were analyzed for SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
    Results: Signs/symptoms related to ears, eyes, nose, and throat (EENT); general fatigue/malaise; and cardiopulmonary signs/symptoms were commonly reported among mothers with COVID-19. In infants of mothers with COVID-19, EENT, immunologic, and cardiopulmonary signs/symptoms were most common, but prevalence did not differ from that of infants of control mothers. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in feces of 7 (25%) women with COVID-19 and 10 (30%) of their infants. Duration of fecal shedding ranged from 1-4 wk for both mothers and infants. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was sparsely detected in feces of healthy dyads, with only one mother's and two infants' fecal samples testing positive. There was no relationship between frequencies of maternal and infant SARS-CoV-2 fecal shedding (P=0.36), although presence of maternal or infant fever was related to increased likelihood (7-9 times greater, P≤0.04) of fecal shedding in infants of mothers with COVID-19.

    Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; breastfeeding; feces; lactation; maternal-infant health; symptoms; viral shedding.

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