COVID antibodies are moved from pregnant ladies to their infants, study finds

Research drove by the 'American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology discovered that the antibodies that help in guarding against the COVID-19 infection are transferred from mothers to their babies while in the womb. This discovery adds to growing evidence that suggests that pregnant women who generate protective antibodies after contracting the coronavirus often convey some of that natural immunity to their fetuses. The findings also lend support to the idea that vaccinating mothers-to-be may also have benefits for their newborns.

"Since we can now say that the antibodies pregnant women make against COVID-19 have been shown to be passed down to their babies, we suspect that there's a good chance they could pass down the antibodies the body makes after being vaccinated as well," said Dr Yawei Jenny Yang, an assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and the study's senior author.

All of the women had COVID-19 antibodies in their blood, indicating that they had contracted the virus at some point even though 58 percent of those women had no symptoms. Furthermore, while antibodies were detected in both symptomatic and asymptomatic women, the researchers observed that the concentration of antibodies was significantly higher in symptomatic women.

They also found that the general pattern of antibody response was similar to the response seen in other patients, confirming that pregnant women have the same kind of immune response to the virus as the larger patient population--something that hadn't previously been known for sure since a woman's immune system changes throughout pregnancy.

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