The world has registered a case of COVID infection in the mother's womb
Researchers in Sweden have found a new type of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus for the first time in an infant whose mother has contracted a new type of infection, The Conversation reports.
The woman, who is in an interesting position, was taken to the Malmo hospital with severe abdominal pain. The child had a low heart rate, which indicated a lack of oxygen. The decision was made to perform a caesarean section, and later the newborn was tested for coronavirus. It tested positive for both the mother and the child. The genomes of the virus were sequenced, and indicated that the child was infected before birth.
The first tests allowed us to confirm the identity of the viruses in the mother and baby, but after some time, doctors revealed changes in the infection population in the newborn. They found a new strain that differs from the original one.
“This is the first case of a genetic change in the coronavirus in the unique conditions of transmission from mother to fetus before birth,” said Mehren Zygam, an obstetrician – gynecologist at Lund University Hospital.
The specialist believes that virus mutations are not uncommon, although, Zygam adds, a new strain, called A107G, was formed just five days after the birth of the child. According to her, the change in the virus could be triggered by the contact of the newborn with the external environment after extraction from the mother’s womb.
The virus had a devastating effect on the placenta: it was inflamed, and the coronavirus protein was fixed on both sides.
The woman had a mild case of coronavirus and was discharged four days after giving birth, but the baby needed neonatal care because it was born prematurely. Nevertheless, he developed antibodies, and the infection proceeded without serious symptoms.
It is emphasized that the protection was provided by the child’s immune system, since no antibodies were detected in the woman’s breast milk.
More than 113 million people worldwide have been infected with the coronavirus, and more than 2.5 million have died. Most of the infected and victims were registered in the United States, India and Brazil.