Babies of women with COVID-19 have antibodies, say Singapore researchers

Kyodo News

Posted at Dec 19 2020 12:42 AM

Babies of women with COVID-19 have antibodies, say Singapore researchers 1
A boy and his mother Naomi Hassebroek look at her sister's newborn baby through a glass door while dropping off a bag of supplies for Easter Sunday during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, US, April 11, 2020. Caitlin Ochs, Reuters/File

Five babies born to women in Singapore who were diagnosed with COVID-19 during their pregnancies were found to have antibodies against the virus, researchers from three public hospitals who conducted a study said Friday.

But the researchers were not sure if the babies have developed immunity against the virus, they told reporters.

The small-scale study, which has just been published in the journal Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore, found no evidence of actual transmission of the virus from mother to baby.

The level of antibodies varied between the babies.

"This is possibly maternal antibodies that has passed on to the baby itself. Vertical transmission or passage of antibodies from mother to child is anticipated to last three to six months before it goes away," said Jerry Chan, a senior consultant in the Department of Reproductive medicine at KK Women's and Children's Hospital who participated in the study.

"We will need to monitor the babies over the next 6 months to 12 months in order to understand the situation more," he said.

The study involved 16 pregnant women with COVID-19, aged 23 to 36 years old, to understand mother-to-baby transmission of the novel coronavirus.

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