Scientists at Lund University in Sweden have identified a new covid-19 mutation in the body of a newborn baby.
The newborn was infected in the womb of his mother. The strain was named A107G, reports the publication Le Conversation.
Health specialists at Skåne University Hospital in Malmo had to perform an emergency caesarean section on a pregnant woman with severe abdominal pain, tracking that the fetus had a low heart rate. Then, they took swabs from the mother’s and baby’s throats, confirming that they both had Covid-19.
After the newborn was infected while still in the womb, the investigation initially indicated that both the mother and the newborn had identical viruses. However, a subsequent genetic test pointed out that the virus in the newborn’s body had mutated.
This would be the first case of a coronavirus genetic change when transmission of the virus occurred from mother to fetus before birth, said Mehreen Zaigham, a postdoctoral researcher in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Lund University.
Under the position of scientists that the genetic changes of the virus could have been caused by the contact that the baby had with the external environment outside the womb, it was possible to detect during pregnancy that there was an inflammation in the placenta. Half of its tissue was damaged and the SARS CoV-2 protein was found on both sides of the placenta and in all areas affected by the abnormality.
As the woman recovered from the disease, the baby required further medical attention due to her premature birth. Regarding the mutation, the child’s immune system was able to neutralize the virus and accumulate antibodies.