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1.
J Perinat Med ; 2022 Jun 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1879336

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Data collected worldwide on stillbirth (SB) rates during the Covid-19 pandemic are contradictory. Variations may be due to methodological differences or population characteristics. The aim of the study is to assess the changes in SB rate, risk factors, causes of death and quality of antenatal care during the pandemic compared to the control periods. METHODS: This prospective study is based on the information collected by the Emilia-Romagna Surveillance system database. We conducted a descriptive analysis of SB rate, risk factors, causes of death and quality of cares, comparing data of the pandemic (March 2020-June 2021) with the 16 months before. RESULTS: During the pandemic, the SB rate was 3.45/1,000 births, a value in line with the rates of previous control periods. Neonatal weight >90th centile was the only risk factor for SB that significantly changed during the pandemic (2.2% vs. 8.0%; p-value: 0.024). No significant differences were found in the distribution of the causes of death groups. Concerning quality of antenatal cares, cases evaluated with suboptimal care (5.2%) did not change significantly compared to the control period (12.0%), as well as the cases with less than recommended obstetric (12.6% vs. 14%) and ultrasound evaluations (0% vs. 2.7%). CONCLUSIONS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, no significant differences in SB rates were found in an area that maintained an adequate level of antenatal care. Thus, eventual associations between SB rate and the COVID-19 infection are explained by an indirect impact of the virus, rather than its direct effect.

2.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-306885

ABSTRACT

In 14 pregnant women who had asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, we performed a detailed 38-parameter analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells by mass cytometry, studied the expression of T-cell master regular genes, investigated cell proliferation and cytokine production, and measured plasma levels of 62 cytokines. No patient showed lymphopenia or gross alterations of white blood cells. Unsupervised analyses revealed that most immune parameters were similar in patients and uninfected controls, apart from an increase in low density neutrophils in SARS-CoV-2 positive women. Also, patients did not show altered plasma levels of interleukin-6 or other main inflammatory molecules, but displayed significant increases of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1RA, IL-10 and IL-19, and decreased levels of IL-17, PD-L1 and D-dimer. The endogenous control of inflammation, as evidenced by plasma levels of soluble molecules, could be a strategy used during pregnancy to avoid virus-induced damages and maintain a normal immune response.

5.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4677, 2021 07 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387356

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection can affect all human beings, including pregnant women. Thus, understanding the immunological changes induced by the virus during pregnancy is nowadays of pivotal importance. Here, using peripheral blood from 14 pregnant women with asymptomatic or mild SARS-CoV-2 infection, we investigate cell proliferation and cytokine production, measure plasma levels of 62 cytokines, and perform a 38-parameter mass cytometry analysis. Our results show an increase in low density neutrophils but no lymphopenia or gross alterations of white blood cells, which display normal levels of differentiation, activation or exhaustion markers and show well preserved functionality. Meanwhile, the plasma levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-1RA, IL-10 and IL-19 are increased, those of IL-17, PD-L1 and D-dimer are decreased, but IL-6 and other inflammatory molecules remain unchanged. Our profiling of antiviral immune responses may thus help develop therapeutic strategies to avoid virus-induced damages during pregnancy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/blood , Inflammation/immunology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Asymptomatic Infections , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/prevention & control , Inflammation/virology , Middle Aged , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/blood , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
6.
Obstet Gynecol ; 136(2): 252-258, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1044008

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the clinical evolution of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in hospitalized pregnant women and potential factors associated with severe maternal outcomes. METHODS: We designed a prospective multicenter cohort study of pregnant women with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection who were admitted to 12 Italian maternity hospitals between February 23 and March 28, 2020. Clinical records, laboratory and radiologic examinations, and pregnancy outcomes were collected. A subgroup of patients with severe disease was identified based on intensive care unit (ICU) admission, delivery for respiratory compromise, or both. RESULTS: Seventy-seven patients were included, 14 of whom had severe disease (18%). Two thirds of the patients in the cohort were admitted during the third trimester, and 84% were symptomatic on admission. Eleven patients underwent urgent delivery for respiratory compromise (16%), and six were admitted to the ICU (8%). One woman received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; no deaths occurred. Preterm delivery occurred in 12% of patients, and nine newborns were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. Patients in the severe subgroup had significantly higher pregestational body mass indexes (BMIs) and heart and respiratory rates and a greater frequency of fever or dyspnea on admission compared with women with a nonsevere disease evolution. CONCLUSION: In our cohort, one in five women hospitalized with COVID-19 infection delivered urgently for respiratory compromise or were admitted to the ICU. None, however, died. Increased pregestational BMI and abnormal heart and respiratory rates on admission were associated with severe disease.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Body Mass Index , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Dyspnea/etiology , Female , Fever/etiology , Hospitals, Maternity , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Italy/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/physiopathology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Pregnancy Outcome , Pregnancy Trimester, Third , Premature Birth/epidemiology , Premature Birth/virology , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
8.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 3434, 2020 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-631255

ABSTRACT

The immune system of patients infected by SARS-CoV-2 is severely impaired. Detailed investigation of T cells and cytokine production in patients affected by COVID-19 pneumonia are urgently required. Here we show that, compared with healthy controls, COVID-19 patients' T cell compartment displays several alterations involving naïve, central memory, effector memory and terminally differentiated cells, as well as regulatory T cells and PD1+CD57+ exhausted T cells. Significant alterations exist also in several lineage-specifying transcription factors and chemokine receptors. Terminally differentiated T cells from patients proliferate less than those from healthy controls, whereas their mitochondria functionality is similar in CD4+ T cells from both groups. Patients display significant increases of proinflammatory or anti-inflammatory cytokines, including T helper type-1 and type-2 cytokines, chemokines and galectins; their lymphocytes produce more tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-17, with the last observation implying that blocking IL-17 could provide a novel therapeutic strategy for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers/metabolism , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , COVID-19 , Cellular Senescence , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Cytokines/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Italy/epidemiology , Lymphocyte Activation , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/metabolism , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/pathology , Th17 Cells/immunology , Th17 Cells/metabolism , Th17 Cells/pathology
9.
Int J Gynaecol Obstet ; 151(1): 39-42, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-625198

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on admissions to gynecological emergency departments (ED) of three Italian university hospitals with different rates of COVID-19 incidence. METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted in the gynecological EDs of Modena (Emilia-Romagna), Sassari and Cagliari (Sardinia) regarding all admissions to gynecological EDs during November 1 to 30, 2019, and March 11 to April 9, 2020 (lockdown period). RESULTS: A total of 691 women (mean age 38.3 ± 14.3 years) who were admitted to the gynecological EDs were included. The relative decrease in women evaluated from March 11 to April 9, 2020, was -56.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] 52.2-61.1). Time spent in the ED was also significantly shorter during this period (P=0.02) in comparison to November 1 to 30, 2019. The most evident decrease was observed for pelvic pain (-68.9% [95% CI 60.3-76.7]; -91 cases). The management of women suggests a more effective use of the ED, with higher rates of hospitalization (P=0.001) and recourse to emergent surgeries (P=0.005) and lower rates of discharge to home (P=0.03). CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 lockdown greatly reduced the rate of admission to gynecological EDs, but the real emergencies were filtered from the more deferrable ones.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergencies/epidemiology , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Patient Discharge/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
10.
Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care ; 25(3): 233-234, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-437486

ABSTRACT

Objective: Although sex-disaggregated data for COVID-19 show equal numbers of cases between men and women, there seem to be sex differences in mortality rate and vulnerability to the disease: more men than women are dying. Methods: We have explored the potential role of estrogens in this COVID-19 gendered impact. Results: Estrogens stimulate the humoral response to viral infections, while testosterone and progesterone give an immune suppression of both innate and cell-mediated immune responses. We hypothesise that estrogens, in particular estradiol but also synthetic estrogen such as ethinylestradiol, could protect women from the most serious complications of COVID-19. The use of medications that keep hormonal levels high and stable, such as combined hormonal contraceptive, could therefore play a protective role. These potential benefits overtake the thrombotic risk in healthy women. As stated by the World Health Organization, all modern methods of contraception were safe to use during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Estrogens/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Progesterone/metabolism , COVID-19 , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Luteinizing Hormone/metabolism , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors
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