Milk production in humans and economically-important animals such as dairy cattle are very similar processes. Viral infections impact the nutritional content of breastmilk, can lead to offspring morbidity, and can cause mastitis both directly and indirectly. This has significant personal, societal and economic impact with both human breastfeeding and in dairy cows. We need to better understand viral secretion in breastmilk by investigating correlations in mastitis, viral loads (focusing on herpesviruses) and milk components. This will enable development of new interventions without compromising essential nutritional and immunological benefits of breastfeeding or dairy productivity.
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