According to a new study conducted by the ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (ICMR-NIRRH) using 45 donated human embryos after in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedures at fertility clinics, embryos as old as five days develop receptors that are known to provide an easy passage to the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19.
Researchers said their findings indicate that embryos can get infected with Covid-19 in the womb from infected mothers and also during IVF procedure in laboratories which, according to them, increase the chances of a miscarriage or even failure to conceive in both natural and IVF-induced pregnancy.
Though no cumulative data is available about the total number of miscarriages recorded among Covid-19 infected pregnant women, a significant number of private and civic-run hospitals have witnessed such cases.
Receptor is a specific protein that provides an entry point to the virus to hook into and infect a wide range of human cells. Studies have found that Sars-CoV-2 infects the lungs through the receptor—angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) – and enzyme TMPRSS2.