The use of umbilical cord blood stem cells is now common as an alternative treatment to many standard therapies. Since the first cord blood transplant was performed successfully around three decades ago, over 40,000 cord blood transplants have taken place all over the world. At present, the FDA has already approved the standardized treatment of nearly 80 diseases using cord blood stem cells. Moreover, there are hundreds of ongoing clinical trials to explore the possibility of treating neurological and degenerative diseases with the help of cord blood stem cells.
This brief article can be a useful resource for anyone looking for more info on cord blood banking and its correlation with pregnancy and COVID-19.
Umbilical Stem Cells and COVID-19 Clinical Trials:
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from umbilical cord blood stem cells are currently being tested to ascertain whether they can reverse or lessen severe pneumonia caused by COVID-19.
It has already been revealed by studies that MSCs are effective as well as safe because of their following properties.
- Strong immune regulatory and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Ability to travel towards damaged tissues
- Damaged tissue repair and regeneration capability.
- Tissue damage prevention property.
An ongoing COVID-19 study indicates that this is a respiratory infectious disease caused by the infection of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This type of pneumonia is characterized by dry cough, fever, and chest tightness. In severe cases, the novel coronavirus pneumonia may cause a rapid respiratory system failure. The greatest concern is that this condition progresses rapidly, and is extremely contagious.
Reports suggest that MSCs are capable of reducing the immune cell overproduction caused as a reaction to the virus. They are also capable of reducing the excessive level of inflammatory substances within the body. As a result of these two functions, the immune system is regulated back to its normal condition.
COVID-19 and Pregnancy:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informs that pregnant women may be more susceptible to viral respiratory infections because of the changes that take place in the body during this stage. Available information about similar related coronavirus infections such as MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and other viral respiratory infections indicate a higher risk of infection for pregnant women. However, this has not been confirmed yet by any formal research.
COVID-19 spreads primarily by coming to close contact with infected individuals via droplets of air by the way of coughing and sneezing. In a recently conducted study involving infants born to coronavirus affected mothers, not a single baby was found to be positive for the virus. Also, the virus was not detected in the amniotic fluid, throat swabs, and cord blood of the samples collected.
The Role of Umbilical Stem Cells in the Future of COVID-19:
A peer-reviewed journal recently published a new study that claims that MSC stem cell therapy can be an effective COVID-19 treatment alternative. In this study, MSC therapy was administered on seven patients of COVID-19 pneumonia for a period of two weeks and the results were reviewed thoroughly. The study team mentioned that there was a significant improvement in the pulmonary function and symptoms of COVID-19 pneumonia patients within just two days of MSCs transplantation.
Importance of Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Banking:
As research continue to develop and clinical trials progress, there is a high probability that umbilical stem cells may emerge as a viable alternative for the treatment of pneumonia caused by COVID-19. Therefore, cord blood banking is one probable option for parents looking to protect their babies from COVID-19 and related conditions in the future. What’s more, this can also be a protective shield for an entire family against around eighty serious health conditions.