Antiviral properties of goat milk

Moshe Rubin, Shira Modai, Shlomi Rayman*, Ella Mendelson, Dov Lichtenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Goat milk is commonly used as a “grandmother's drug” in traditional therapy of oral ulcers and lesions caused by Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection without any basic scientific study. The aim of this study is to characterize and quantify the anti-viral effect of goat milk and its components against different viruses and to gain understanding of the mechanism responsible for these effects. Our experiments reveal that goat milk has a clear antiviral effect, that pasteurization of the milk reduce but does not eliminate this effect. Goat milk had a greater antiviral efficacy than bovine milk. Similarly, the goat milk also inhibited in addition to HSV-1 other viruses (Coxsackievirus A9 as well as the pseudo virus SARS-CoV-2). Interestingly, the antiviral effects of the goat milk are more pronounced when the virus is pre-incubated with the goat milk casein, than when the casein is added to cell-virus mixture. Preliminary data suggest that the mechanism is non-specific, mediated by a component of the casein fraction. This fraction probably consists of one or several different substances that interact with the membrane or capsid receptors of different viruses, thereby inhibiting cell entry and replication. This putative mechanism should be further studied on COVID- 19 in-vitro study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Nutrition Open Science
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Anti-viral
  • Casein
  • Goat milk
  • Herpes Simplex Virus type-1(HSV-1)
  • Plaque Assay
  • Real-Time PCR


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