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Journal of Perinatal Medicine

Official Journal of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Dudenhausen, Joachim W.

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In This Section
Volume 42, Issue 1 (Jan 2014)


Inactivation of high-risk human papillomaviruses by Holder pasteurization: implications for donor human milk banking

Manuela Donalisio
  • Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Torino, 10043 Orbassano, Torino, Italy
/ Valeria Cagno
  • Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Torino, 10043 Orbassano, Torino, Italy
/ Marta Vallino
  • Institute of Plant Virology, CNR, Torino, Italy
/ Guido E. Moro
  • Corresponding author
  • Italian Association of Human Milk Banks, Milan, Italy
  • World Association of Perinatal Medicine, Working Group on Nutrition
  • Email:
/ Sertac Arslanoglu
  • Italian Association of Human Milk Banks, Milan, Italy
  • World Association of Perinatal Medicine, Working Group on Nutrition
/ Paola Tonetto
  • Neonatal Care Unit, University of Torino, Torino, Italy
/ Enrico Bertino
  • Neonatal Care Unit, University of Torino, Torino, Italy
/ David Lembo
  • Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Torino, 10043 Orbassano, Torino, Italy
Published Online: 2013-10-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpm-2013-0200


Aims: Several studies have recently reported the detection of oncogenic human papillomaviruses (HPV) in human milk of a minority of lactating mothers. These findings raised safety concerns in the context of human donor milk banking given the potential risk of HPV transmission to recipient infants. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the Holder pasteurization, a procedure currently in use in human donor milk banks for milk pasteurization, completely inactivates high-risk and low-risk HPV.

Methods: HPV pseudoviruses (PsV) were generated, spiked into cell culture medium or donor human milk and subjected to thermal inactivation. HPV PsV infectivity and morphological integrity was analyzed by cell-based assay and by electron microscopy, respectively.

Results: The Holder pasteurization completely inactivated the infectivity of high-risk (types 16 and 18) and low-risk (type 6) HPV both in cell culture medium and in human milk causing PsV particle disassembly.

Conclusions: The results presented here indicate that the Holder pasteurization is an efficient procedure to inactivate high-risk and low-risk HPV thus preventing the potential risk of their transmission through human donor milk.

Keywords: Holder pasteurization; human milk banking; human papillomaviruses


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About the article

Corresponding author: Guido E. Moro, Italian Association of Human Milk Banks (AIBLUD), c/o Biomedia, Via Libero Temolo No 4, 20126, Milan, Italy; and World Association of Perinatal Medicine, Working Group on Nutrition, Tel.: +39 3485659614, E-mail:

Received: 2013-08-02

Accepted: 2013-09-08

Published Online: 2013-10-30

Published in Print: 2014-01-01

Citation Information: Journal of Perinatal Medicine, ISSN (Online) 1619-3997, ISSN (Print) 0300-5577, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpm-2013-0200. Export Citation

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