COVID-19: a baby has been born with antibodies

In Indonesia, a woman gave birth to a baby with Covid-19 antibodies. Read on to find out more about this story that is intriguing the scientific community.

COVID-19: A Baby Has Been Born With Antibodies
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Céline Ng-Chan, 31, gave birth to her second child in early November in Singapore. Her son, named Aldrin, was in perfect health at birth, and even had antibodies to protect him from the coronavirus.

Infected during pregnancy

The young woman is believed to have contracted Covid-19 during her pregnancy, following a trip to Europe. Her parents, husband, and eldest daughter are also said to have contracted the coronavirus during the infamous trip abroad.

Her mother, aged 58, almost lost her life, according to the young woman who was interviewed by the Singaporean daily The Straits Times. Celine Ng-Chan was only 10 weeks pregnant when she tested positive for the coronavirus:

I wasn't worried about Aldrin catching Covid-19 because I had read that the risk of transmission (from mother to foetus) is very low.

In short? The paediatrician in charge of the young mother confirmed that the antibodies protecting her against the virus had completely disappeared, but that her child was a carrier. The medical profession suspects that the mother transmitted them during her pregnancy.

The question of immunity intrigues scientists

This is not the first time that individuals have carried antibodies without havingcontracted the coronavirus.

At the beginning of November, three young children came to the attention of the Australian scientific community, since they had strangely developed significant immunity to the virus, without ever testing 'positive' for the virus. A study published in the Nature journal highlighted this phenomenon, which has been rarely observed on a global scale.

This study was carried out on a family hit hard by the coronavirus. The couple from Melbourne had caught the virus at a wedding and developed common symptoms of the disease (cough, stuffy nose, fever…).

The children spared

Their three children, aged 9, 7, and 5, tested negative after several PCR tests. The two eldest children experienced some symptoms, and the youngest child was 100% asymptomatic. Surprising, no?

Recruited by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the Australian family was closely monitored by a group of scientists. The result? The work carried out confirmed that the children had in fact developed a powerful immunity to the virus.

The three children also produced a large quantity of immunoglobulin A, an immunity also present in the parents and one which is formidable against the coronavirus. And that's not all: one of the children also produced immunoglobulin G, which is rarer and specific to people who have contracted the virus.

This highlights the limitations of nasopharyngeal PCR sensitivity and current diagnostic serology in children.

Could the children still have caught the virus, without the tests detecting it? This remains a mystery for now.