COVID-19 infection during pregnancy: risk of vertical transmission, fetal, and neonatal outcomes


The COVID-19 pandemic is a worldwide, critical public health challenge and is considered one of the most communicable diseases that the world had faced so far. Response and symptoms associated with COVID-19 vary between the different cases recorded, but it is amply described that symptoms become more aggressive in subjects with a weaker immune system. This includes older subjects, patients with chronic diseases, patients with immunosuppression treatment, and pregnant women. Pregnant women are receiving more attention not only because of their altered physiological and immunological function but also for the potential risk of viral vertical transmission to the fetus or infant. However, very limited data about the impact of maternal infection during pregnancy, such as the possibility of vertical transmission in utero, during birth, or via breastfeeding, is available. Moreover, the impact of infection on the newborn in the short and long term remains poorly understood. Therefore, it is vital to collect and analyze data from pregnant women infected with COVID-19 to understand the viral pathophysiology during pregnancy and its effects on the offspring. In this article, we review the current knowledge about pre-and post-natal COVID-19 infection, and we discuss whether vertical transmission takes place in pregnant women infected with the virus and what are the current recommendations that pregnant women should follow in order to be protected from the virus.

Keywords:SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; pregnancy outcomes; ACE-2 receptor; immune response; placental antibody transfer


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Degtyarev Dmitriy Nikolaevich
Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Deputy Director for Scientific Research of the V.I. Kulakov Obstetrics, Gynecology and Perinatology National Medical Research Center of Ministry of Healthсаre of the Russian Federation, Head of the Chair of Neonatology at the Clinical Institute of Children's Health named after N.F. Filatov, I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Chairman of the Ethics Committee of the Russian Society of Neonatologists, Moscow, Russian Federation

ORCID iD 0000-0001-8975-2425

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