Researchers from Boston Medical Center’s Maxwell Finland Laboratory for Contagious Illness have actually determined properties in placenta tissue that may play a crucial role in avoiding the transmission of COVID-19 from a mother with the infection to her fetus.
The study results demonstrate that the COVID-19 infection generally gets into the placenta in cases with and without evidence of fetal infection, highlighting the security that the placenta may use against COVID-19 infection as current information indicates a less than 5 percent COVID-19 transmission rate in babies from their moms. Released in Placenta, these outcomes underscore the value of using placenta tissue in COVID-19 research studies focused on developing novel methods to identify, treat and avoid COVID-19 infection transmission.
For this research study, the researchers analyzed placental tissue, which shares numerous developmental and physiological similarities with the lung and the immune response of the small and big intestinal tract, making it a crucial source of human tissue that can be used for ongoing COVID-19 research study. It also contains a special expression pattern of COVID-19 receptors that are various from other organs, which might be valuable in the advancement of COVID-19 treatments.
” The results of this research study supply evidence for ongoing research of COVID-19 infection at the maternal-fetal interface as ways to much better understand virus transmission and infection in other human tissues,” said Elisha Wachman, MD, a neonatologist at Boston Medical Center, associate teacher of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine, and principal private investigator of this study. “Previous research has actually revealed that the placenta secures the fetus from different kinds of infection, and exploring the particular ways in which it safeguards the fetus from COVID-19 transmission might assist identify new targets of COVID-19 avoidance and treatment.”
Throughout April and May 2020, samples from 15 COVID-19 positive maternal-fetal dyads were gathered for this research study; five cases had proof of fetal transmission. The researchers found that the COVID-19 virus was present in the placental tissues in cases with and without proof of fetal infection. They likewise found that the placenta consists of an unique pattern of cell surface proteins (TMPRSS2 and ACE2) that are important for COVID-19 viral entry, which is different from other cell types.
” Identifying how the placenta might be avoiding COVID-19 infections throughout pregnancy can help supply hints on how to avoid infection in other organs, such as the lungs and gut,” said Elizabeth Taglauer, MD, PhD, a neonatologist and placental biologist based at Boston Kid’s Medical facility. “As a readily offered tissue for research study, the placenta can be an important source of clinical research study for a variety of human diseases in pregnancy and beyond.”
Financing for this study was offered by the Boston University Clinical and Translational Science Institute COVID-19 Pilot Grant Program (UL1TR001430), NIH T32 1T32 HD098061-01(EST) and the Boston University School of Medicine Medical Trainee Summer Research Study Program.