Prendergast AJ, Goga AE, Waitt C, Gessain A, Taylor GP, Rollins N, Abrams EJ, Lyall EH, de Perre PV.
Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2019 Apr;3(4):264-273. doi: 10.1016/S2352-4642(19)30024-0. Review.
Breastfeeding is a crucial child survival intervention. However, the potential for transmission of viral infections from mother to child presents the dilemma of how best to interpret the benefits and risks of breastfeeding in different settings. In this Review, we compare the transmission dynamics, risk factors, and outcomes of infection with three chronic viruses transmitted through breastmilk: cytomegalovirus, human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1, and HIV. We provide an overview of intervention approaches and discuss scientific, policy, and programming gaps in the understanding of these major global infections.