Researchers in from the University of Texas, Vickers and MMBNT, and Galveston National Laboratory recently published their findings that looked into the possibility of Ebola and Marburg virus in Human Milk. In the end they found that donor human milk that is processed at non-profit milk banks is safe and people shouldn’t worry about putting their infant at risk by attaining this milk.
The study looked into the standard pasteurization technique called Holder, which works by heating donor human milk to 62.5 degrees celsius for half-an-hour while in a water bath and this is supposed to then kill all harmful pathogens in order to make it safe for consumption. After the Holder pasteurization technique occurred, the researchers conducted plaque assays to see if there was an viral presence after Holder.
The results showed no detectable presence of Ebola or Marburg viruses, and that led to the researchers stating that holder pasteurized milk is safe for consumption. Since Holder is the standard pasteurization technique used in all North American nonprofit milk banks, this lead to the conclusion that all milk banks should contain EBOV and MARV-free milk.
Jeanette Rios (‘18)