A Greek woman has given birth to a baby boy with DNA from three different parents, making him the first 3-parent baby in the world.
A team of Greek and Spanish doctors collaborated on the procedure, which they claim is “making medical history” with their clinical trial for the experimental IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatment.
This type of IVF, known as mitochondria replacement therapy (MRT), helps infertile couples have a child by combining two women’s eggs and fertilizing it with a man’s sperm.
The 32-year-old woman had a history of multiple IVF failures and poor egg quality.
Both the mother and the baby are in good health, said researchers at The Institute of Life, in Athens, where the procedure was performed.
The team claims they are “making medical history”, but several researchers have expressed concern over the use of the technique for infertility, as this is not what it is originally developed for. Instead, it was meant as a way for mothers to avoid passing on mitochondrial disease to their children.
The procedure works by taking the nucleus of the infertile woman’s egg, which holds most of the genetic material, and transferring it into a donor egg that has had its nucleus removed. There, the woman’s nucleus is surrounded by healthy mitochondria. The donor egg is then fertilised.
The resulting child possesses genetic material from the mother and the father and a small number of genes from the donor.
The trial’s record says that it aims to recruit 25 women under 40, who have been diagnosed with infertility due to poor egg quality, who have had at least two failed IVF attempts.