A study of more than 1,400 mothers and newborns has shown that antibodies can protect against the coronavirus in almost 90% of cases.
Dr. Dustin Flannery, a neonatologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, found that protective antibodies were transferred across the placenta in 72 out of 83 infected or previously infected pregnant women.
The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, indicated that a mother who had been infected with Covid-19 was likely to pass protection onto her baby. The study examined 1471 cases of mothers and newborns, and found that 83 women had Covid-19 antibodies and those antibodies were also present in 72 of the newborns.
They noted that antibodies were transferred across the placenta in cases where women had asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections – as well as those with mild, moderate, and severe coronavirus disease 2019. The transfer ratios for the antibodies increased as the time between infection and delivery increased.
None of the babies developed coronavirus infection.
“Our findings demonstrate the potential for maternally derived SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies to provide neonatal protection from coronavirus disease 2019,” the team wrote. “None of the babies of infected mothers developed coronavirus infection. And 60% of the women who had antibodies to coronavirus had no symptoms, the researchers reported.
“Could maternal antibodies help delay the onset of infection or protect the infant from becoming infected, having severe disease, or dying of COVID-19?” asked Dr. Flor Munoz, a molecular virologist at the Baylor College of Medicine, who was not involved in the research, told CNN.