Common Cold During Pregnancy May Cross Placenta, Infect Fetus

Common Cold During Pregnancy May Cross Placenta, Infect Fetus

2 min read
Common Cold During Pregnancy May Cross Placenta, Infect Fetus

The common cold virus can infect cells derived from the human placenta, according to a study which suggests that it may be possible for the infection to pass from expectant mothers to their unborn children.

The researchers, including those from Tulane University in the US, said the placenta — an organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy — acts as a gatekeeper, providing essential nourishment from a mother to a developing fetus while filtering out potential pathogens.

The study, published in the journal PLOS One, noted that this barrier isn't as impenetrable as once believed with recent studies showing how viruses such as Zika can slip through its defences.

"This is the first evidence that a common cold virus can infect the human placenta," said study co-author Giovanni Piedimonte from Tulane University.

From donated placentas, the researchers isolated the three major cells found in the organ -- cytotrophoblast, stroma fibroblasts and Hofbauer cells. blasts and Hofbauer cells.

In the lab, they exposed these cells to the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes the common cold.

They found that while the cytotrophoblast cells supported limited viral replication, the other two types were significantly more susceptible to infection.

The researchers said the Hofbauer cells survived and allowed the virus to replicate inside its walls.

Since the Hofbauer cells traveled within the placenta, the researchers suspected these cells could act as a "Trojan horse" and transmit the virus into a developing fetus.

"These cells don't die when they're infected by the virus, which is the problem," Piedimonte said.

"When they move into the fetus, they are like bombs packed with virus. They don't disseminate the virus around by exploding, which is the typical way, but rather transfer the virus through intercellular channels," he added.

The virus might attack lung tissue within the fetus, causing an infection which may predispose infants to developing asthma in childhood: Study

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by FIT.)

(India, and the Capital especially, has been in an air pollution crisis. How has the hazardous air #pollution impacted you? Write down your #PollutionKaSolution and send it to us at )

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

Liked this story? We'll send you more. Subscribe to The Quint's newsletter and get selected stories delivered to your inbox every day. Click to get started.

The Quint is available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, click to join.

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Quint Insider

or more


3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Insider Benefits
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!