A Bulgarian baby was born with Covid-19 antibodies

A Bulgarian baby was born with Covid-19 antibodies

A baby was born with Covid-19 antibodies as the mother contracted the virus while she was pregnant.

It turns out that such cases are extremely rare. Doctors have suggested that the child had contracted the virus while in the womb and the antibodies were transferred through the mother's placenta.

The 28-year-old woman from the southern Bulgarian city of Pazardzhik had to give birth by caesarean as Covid-19 caused changes in the placenta and slowed the fetus’ growth

I thought there was no risk to the baby and that the virus could not be transmitted through the placenta. I cried, I was worried, especially about the baby, says the mother Yordanka Brandiyska.

We have read some scientific articles, which said that it was unlikely to have vertical transmission - that is, transmission of the virus from mother to fetus, Dr. Ilian Trayanov, gynecologist at the hospital explains.

The mother contracted the virus in December and had mild symptoms. A team of doctors monitored how the baby was developing in her and noticed that something was wrong in terms of weight and length, amniotic fluid was also reduced. There were changes in the structure of the placenta, explains Dr. Ivan Kitov, gynecologist at the hospital in Pazardzhik. On January 5, baby Emma was born by caesarean section. A rapid blood test showed antibodies to a previous Covid-19 infection.

We did not know what would happen and how the child would adapt. We found IGG antibodies, IGM were negative and we discussed with everyone in the ward that these were most likely antibodies that were transferred across the placenta, Dr. Zdravka Pironova, head of the neonatology ward at the Pazardzhik Hospital said.

From our experience in the last quarter of the year in 11 babies born to mothers with COVID-19, in 90% of the cases this class of antibodies was found, explains Dr. Radka Maslarska, Head of the Department of Neonatology at Acibadem City Clinic Tokuda Hospital.

According to the World Health Organization, active viral particles have not yet been found in breast milk or amniotic fluid. At this stage, doctors assume that the baby had the virus while in the womb.

There are data that we found with an ultrasound examination about the delay in growth, plus changes in the placenta, which were very typical for a past infection, are not specific only to Covid. This makes us think that the baby became ill in utero while she was in the mother, Dr. Ilian Trayanov, a gynecologist at the Pazardzhik Hospital said.

Baby Emma is now at home. She is very well, calm and sleeps well, the mother says.

A quantitative measurement of the baby’s antibodies will be made soon.


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