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JAMA Netw Open ; 3(12): e2030455, 2020 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-985883


Importance: Biological data are lacking with respect to risk of vertical transmission and mechanisms of fetoplacental protection in maternal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Objective: To quantify SARS-CoV-2 viral load in maternal and neonatal biofluids, transplacental passage of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody, and incidence of fetoplacental infection. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study was conducted among pregnant women presenting for care at 3 tertiary care centers in Boston, Massachusetts. Women with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) results positive for SARS-CoV-2 were recruited from April 2 to June 13, 2020, and follow-up occurred through July 10, 2020. Contemporaneous participants without SARS-CoV-2 infection were enrolled as a convenience sample from pregnant women with RT-PCR results negative for SARS-CoV-2. Exposures: SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy, defined by nasopharyngeal swab RT-PCR. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcomes were SARS-CoV-2 viral load in maternal plasma or respiratory fluids and umbilical cord plasma, quantification of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in maternal and cord plasma, and presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the placenta. Results: Among 127 pregnant women enrolled, 64 with RT-PCR results positive for SARS-CoV-2 (mean [SD] age, 31.6 [5.6] years) and 63 with RT-PCR results negative for SARS-CoV-2 (mean [SD] age, 33.9 [5.4] years) provided samples for analysis. Of women with SARS-CoV-2 infection, 23 (36%) were asymptomatic, 22 (34%) had mild disease, 7 (11%) had moderate disease, 10 (16%) had severe disease, and 2 (3%) had critical disease. In viral load analyses among 107 women, there was no detectable viremia in maternal or cord blood and no evidence of vertical transmission. Among 77 neonates tested in whom SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were quantified in cord blood, 1 had detectable immunoglobuilin M to nucleocapsid. Among 88 placentas tested, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detected in any. In antibody analyses among 37 women with SARS-CoV-2 infection, anti-receptor binding domain immunoglobin G was detected in 24 women (65%) and anti-nucleocapsid was detected in 26 women (70%). Mother-to-neonate transfer of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was significantly lower than transfer of anti-influenza hemagglutinin A antibodies (mean [SD] cord-to-maternal ratio: anti-receptor binding domain immunoglobin G, 0.72 [0.57]; anti-nucleocapsid, 0.74 [0.44]; anti-influenza, 1.44 [0.80]; P < .001). Nonoverlapping placental expression of SARS-CoV-2 receptors angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and transmembrane serine protease 2 was noted. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, there was no evidence of placental infection or definitive vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Transplacental transfer of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was inefficient. Lack of viremia and reduced coexpression and colocalization of placental angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and transmembrane serine protease 2 may serve as protective mechanisms against vertical transmission.

Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Fetal Blood/immunology , Immunity, Maternally-Acquired/immunology , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical/statistics & numerical data , Placenta/metabolism , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Case-Control Studies , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Fetal Blood/virology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Infant, Newborn , Influenza A virus/immunology , Male , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Placenta/pathology , Placenta/virology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/blood , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Load
BMC Med Res Methodol ; 20(1): 215, 2020 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-730204


BACKGROUND: Collection of biospecimens is a critical first step to understanding the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women and newborns - vulnerable populations that are challenging to enroll and at risk of exclusion from research. We describe the establishment of a COVID-19 perinatal biorepository, the unique challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and strategies used to overcome them. METHODS: A transdisciplinary approach was developed to maximize the enrollment of pregnant women and their newborns into a COVID-19 prospective cohort and tissue biorepository, established on March 19, 2020 at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The first SARS-CoV-2 positive pregnant woman was enrolled on April 2, and enrollment was expanded to SARS-CoV-2 negative controls on April 20. A unified enrollment strategy with a single consent process for pregnant women and newborns was implemented on May 4. SARS-CoV-2 status was determined by viral detection on RT-PCR of a nasopharyngeal swab. Wide-ranging and pregnancy-specific samples were collected from maternal participants during pregnancy and postpartum. Newborn samples were collected during the initial hospitalization. RESULTS: Between April 2 and June 9, 100 women and 78 newborns were enrolled in the MGH COVID-19 biorepository. The rate of dyad enrollment and number of samples collected per woman significantly increased after changes to enrollment strategy (from 5 to over 8 dyads/week, P < 0.0001, and from 7 to 9 samples, P < 0.01). The number of samples collected per woman was higher in SARS-CoV-2 negative than positive women (9 vs 7 samples, P = 0.0007). The highest sample yield was for placenta (96%), umbilical cord blood (93%), urine (99%), and maternal blood (91%). The lowest-yield sample types were maternal stool (30%) and breastmilk (22%). Of the 61 delivered women who also enrolled their newborns, fewer women agreed to neonatal blood compared to cord blood (39 vs 58, P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Establishing a COVID-19 perinatal biorepository required patient advocacy, transdisciplinary collaboration and creative solutions to unique challenges. This biorepository is unique in its comprehensive sample collection and the inclusion of a control population. It serves as an important resource for research into the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women and newborns and provides lessons for future biorepository efforts.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Patient Participation , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Specimen Handling , Adult , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Pandemics , Patient Selection , Perinatal Care , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/psychology , SARS-CoV-2