A recent study’s findings support an increasing amount of data that claims pregnant women who get infected with the novel coronavirus can pass on the protective antibodies they produce to the newborns.
A study conducted by scientists of the Perelman School of Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania discovered that antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 could cross the placenta. The same is true for asymptomatic subjects.
Curiously, the amount of antibodies discovered in the newborns’ blood is comparable to the amount found in the mothers’ blood. In some cases, the antibody count was even higher in the infants.
It turned out that there is a correlation between the number of antibodies the mothers pass and the stage of pregnancy they are in when they are infected. The earlier they contract the virus, the more antibodies are passed to the fetus.
The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics, and it may help clarify when it’s best for pregnant women to get vaccinated.
Scott Hensley, a co-senior author and PhD, stated:
“In general, our findings are consistent with what we know about cross-placental transfer of antibodies to other viruses, and should contribute to the discussion about whether and when to vaccinate pregnant women against SARS-CoV-2.”
The study had researchers search for evidence of antibodies in blood samples taken from over 1,400 women and their infants. The results showed that 83 women had “significant levels” of antibodies, and 87% of the newborns also presented significant levels of the antibodies in blood samples harvested from the umbilical cord when they were born.
“The study found no evidence that the antibodies were due to fetal infection, indicating that it is likely the antibodies crossed the placenta from the mother’s blood to the fetal circulation,” reads an extract from the university news release page.