Baby in Singapore born with COVID-19 antibodies

Baby in Singapore born with COVID-19 antibodies

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A baby born with COVID-19 antibodies was traced in Singapore, in a rare event.
  • The presence of the COVID-19 antibodies in the child confirms that she has transferred the same to her baby during pregnancy.
  • WHO is yet to recognize such transfer of antibody during the infection.
  • A study published in October by the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases found the majority of children born to mothers with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, had detectable levels of IgG antibodies at birth.

KOLKATA (India) — A woman who contacted the novel coronavirus in march, while she was pregnant, gave birth to her child with coronavirus anti-bodies already present.

According to the doctor of Celine Ng-Chan, the presence of the COVID-19 antibodies in the child confirms that she has transferred the same to her baby during pregnancy, the Strait Times newspaper reported.

“It’s very interesting. His paediatrician said my Covid-19 antibodies are gone but Aldrin has Covid-19 antibodies,” Ng-Chan said.

“My doctor suspects I have transferred my Covid-19 antibodies to him during my pregnancy.”

Millions of children were born in the shadow of the pandemic, but cases of babies born with the antibodies for the virus from the womb are rare. There is not much conclusive evidence justifying the same.

Can a COVID-infected pregnant mother transfer antibodies to her unborn child?

WHO says it is yet to establish if a pregnant woman can successfully pass on the virus to her unborn child in the womb, while medical research in the US showed such transmissions are rare.

According to Mayo Clinic, newborns can contact the virus during or after delivery, or from sick caregivers. In case the mother is too sick, the baby may be separated from her for the time being, the clinic suggests, but it does not recognize a transmission inside the mother’s womb.

However, there is evidence of antibody transfer between an infected mother and an unborn child.

A study published in October by the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases found the majority of children born to mothers with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, had detectable levels of IgG antibodies at birth.

While a minority of the children had detectable IgM antibodies. IgM antibodies are the interim antibody produced after exposure to a virus but it cannot be transferred via the placenta, the paper noted.

While the IgG antibodies are the finer counterparts and can be passively transferred from a mother to child via placenta. But the duration of the immunity from these antibodies are questionable.

As per Johns Hopkins University Tally, Singapore has recorded over more than 58,000 COVID infections. As of Sunday, the landlocked island-nation recorded eight new coronavirus cases. Seven of them were imported and one community spread said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

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