For the first time, scientists have recorded a case of coronavirus mutation transmitted from a mother to an unborn fetus.
Scientists from Sweden have identified for the first time a mutated form of coronavirus in a newborn child whose mother was sick with COVID-19.
According to reports, a pregnant woman with severe abdominal pain was taken to a hospital in Malmö, a city in Sweden. Doctors noticed that her child had an abnormally low heart rate, which could be a sign of a lack of oxygen.
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Due to this, doctors had to go through a cesarean, and tests confirmed that the mother and child were infected with the coronavirus. The genomes of SARS-CoV-2 were sequenced, after which it became clear that the baby was infected before birth.
At the same time, despite the fact that the first tests demonstrated the identity of the viruses in the mother and the child, experts soon identified changes in the virus population in the newborn. In particular, a new strain emerged that was genetically different from the original.
Scientists say that for the first time they managed to fix a case of mutation of the coronavirus during its transmission from the mother to the unborn fetus.
It is noted that the A107G mutation occurred just five days after the birth of the child. Scientists have also found extensive damage to the placenta due to inflammation. The mother quickly recovered from COVID-19, but the newborn required neonatal care due to premature birth. The child developed antibodies to the virus and did not suffer from severe symptoms.
It is known that transmission of COVID-19 from a pregnant woman to a fetus is very rare, as the placenta serves as a barrier to infection and has relatively low levels of the ACE2 protein, which helps the virus to enter cells. However, in exceptional cases, the virus damages the placenta, which leads to a lack of oxygen.