Heath L, Conway S, Jones L, Semrau K, Nakamura K, Walter J, Decker WD, Hong J, Chen T, Heil M, Sinkala M, Kankasa C, Thea DM, Kuhn L, Mullins JI, Aldrovandi GM (2010). Restriction of HIV-1 genotypes in breast milk does not account for the population transmission genetic bottleneck that occurs following transmission. PloS one, 5(4), e10213. (pubmed) (doi)
Breast milk transmission of HIV-1 remains a major route of pediatric infection. Defining the characteristics of viral variants to which breastfeeding infants are exposed is important for understanding the genetic bottleneck that occurs in the majority of mother-to-child transmissions. The blood-milk epithelial barrier markedly restricts the quantity of HIV-1 in breast milk, even in the absence of antiretroviral drugs. The basis of this restriction and the genetic relationship between breast milk and blood variants are not well established.