Researchers have made an assessment that pregnant patients admitted for coronavirus or COVID-19 have been detected with antibodies against the deadly disease in the umbilical cord blood, suggesting the chances of transferred immunity from the mothers to the babies.
The research that was published in The Annals, which is the official medical journal of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore, samples of 16 pregnant patients who were admitted for coronavirus to four tertiary hospitals in Singapore were periodically analyzed.
As per the study, there was no evidence of mother-to-child transfer of the coronavirus via breast milk or placenta. In the research, the scientists conducted SARS-CoV-2 tests on the maternal blood ad vaginal swabs, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood (UCB), and swabs of the placental and umbilical cord surfaces.
COVID-19 and Babies
The scientists including the ones from the Singapore General Hospital noted that the majority of the infected pregnant women had only mild infection and two of them who witnessed risk factors like old age and obesity had a severe infection. None of the women lost their lives, as per the study.
Five pregnancies made term live-births and two participants had spontaneous miscarriages at 11 and 23 weeks of pregnancy. The scientists stated that one patient stayed positive for the new coronavirus for up to 80 days following initial symptoms but they also mentioned that such prolonged shedding of the virus might not indicate actual infectivity.
"Recent reports have highlighted the unpredictable clinical course of COVID-19 infection in pregnancy. Severe maternal disease can manifest prenatally or postnatally and trigger abrupt postnatal decompensation, and its presentation maybe delayed up to 14 days from symptom onset," the researchers wrote in the study.
But based on the systematic screening of the samples, the researchers mentioned that there was no evidence of maternal-child transmission of the novel virus. The scientists also discovered SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies in the paired maternal and the umbilical cord blood.
But they mentioned this finding may not be conclusive evidence of the transmission of antibodies from mothers to babies since the protective proteins might also be trafficked in cases where the maternal-fetal interface is breached by the inflammation.