As the COVID-19 pandemic intensified the global health crisis, the containment of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancies, and the inherent risk of vertical transmission of virus from mother-to-fetus (or neonate) poses a major concern. Most COVID-19-Pregnancy patients showed mild to moderate COVID-19 pneumonia with no pregnancy loss and no congenital transmission of the virus; however, an increase in hypoxia-induced preterm deliveries was apparent. Also, the breastmilk of several mothers with COVID-19 tested negative for the virus.
Taken together, the natural barrier function during pregnancy and postpartum seems to deter the SARS-CoV-2 transmission from mother-to-child. This clinical observation warrants to explore the maternal-fetal interface and identify the innate defense factors for prevention and control of COVID-19-Pregnancy. Lactoferrin (LF) is a potent antiviral iron-binding protein present in the maternal-fetal interface. In concert with immune co-factors, maternal-LF modulates chemokine release and lymphocyte migration and amplify host defense during pregnancy.
LF levels during pregnancy may resolve hypertension via down-regulation of ACE2; consequently, may limit the membrane receptor access to SARS-CoV-2 for cellular entry. Furthermore, an LF-derived peptide (LRPVAA) has been shown to block ACE receptor activity in vitro. LF may also reduce viral docking and entry into host cells and limit the early phase of COVID-19 infection. An in-depth understanding of LF and other soluble mammalian milk-derived innate antiviral factors may provide insights to reduce co-morbidities and vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection and may lead to the development of effective nutraceutical supplements.
More about lactoferrin:
Lactoferrin as potential preventative and treatment for COVID-19
Lactoferrin as Protective Natural Barrier of Respiratory and Intestinal Mucosa against Coronavirus Infection and Inflammation
Una risposta contro il Covid-19: la glicoproteina lattoferrina, una componente dell’immunità innata