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Revisiting Koch’s postulate to determine the plausibility of viral transmission by human milk

Abstract : As breastfeeding is of utmost importance for child development and survival, identifying whether breast milk is a route of transmission for human viruses is critical. Based on the principle of Koch’s postulate, we propose an analytical framework to determine the plausibility of viral transmission by breast milk. This framework is based on five criteria: viral infection in children receiving breastmilk from infected mothers; the presence of virus, viral antigen or viral genome in the breast milk of infected mothers; the evidence for the virus in breast milk being infectious; the attempts to rule out other transmission modalities; and the reproduction of viral transmission by oral inoculation in an animal model. We searched for evidence in published reports to determine whether the 5 criteria are fulfilled for 16 human viruses that are suspected to be transmissible by breast milk. We considered breast milk transmission is proven if all 5 criteria are fulfilled, as probable if 4 of the 5 criteria are met, as possible if 3 of the 5 criteria are fulfilled and as unlikely if less than 3 criteria are met. Only five viruses have proven transmission through breast milk: human T‐cell lymphotropic virus 1, human immunodeficiency virus, human cytomegalovirus, dengue virus and Zika virus. The other 11 viruses fulfilled some but not all criteria and were categorized accordingly. Our framework analysis is useful for guiding public health recommendations and for identifying knowledge gaps amenable to original experiments
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https://hal.umontpellier.fr/hal-03154779
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Soumis le : lundi 1 mars 2021 - 11:52:05
Dernière modification le : jeudi 14 avril 2022 - 17:12:01
Archivage à long terme le : : dimanche 30 mai 2021 - 19:58:29

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Distributed under a Creative Commons Paternité - Pas d'utilisation commerciale - Pas de modification 4.0 International License

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Philippe van de Perre, Jean‐pierre Molès, Nicolas Nagot, Edouard Tuaillon, Pierre‐emmanuel Ceccaldi, et al.. Revisiting Koch’s postulate to determine the plausibility of viral transmission by human milk. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Wiley, 2021, ⟨10.1111/pai.13473⟩. ⟨hal-03154779⟩

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