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1.
American journal of obstetrics and gynecology ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2058438

ABSTRACT

Stillbirth is a recognized complication of COVID-19 in pregnant women that has recently been demonstrated to be caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection of the placenta. Multiple global studies have found that the placental pathology findings present in cases of stillbirth consists of a combination of concurrent destructive findings that include increased fibrin deposition which typically reaches the level of massive perivillous fibrin deposition, chronic histiocytic intervillositis and trophoblast necrosis. These three pathological lesions, collectively termed SARS-CoV-2 placentitis, can cause severe and diffuse placental parenchymal destruction that can affect greater than 75% of the placenta, effectively rendering the placenta incapable of performing its function of oxygenating the fetus and leading to stillbirth and neonatal death via malperfusion and placental insufficiency. Placental infection and destruction can occur in the absence of demonstrable fetal infection. Development of SARS-CoV-2 placentitis is a complex process that may have both an infectious and immunological basis. An important observation is that in all reported cases of SARS-CoV-2 placentitis causing stillbirth and neonatal death the mothers were unvaccinated. SARS-CoV-2 placentitis is likely the result of an episode of SARS-CoV-2 viremia at some time during the pregnancy. This article discusses clinical and pathological aspects of the relationship between maternal COVID-19 vaccination, SARS-CoV-2 placentitis and perinatal death.

2.
Mod Pathol ; 35(9): 1175-1180, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2016645

ABSTRACT

Current public health initiatives to contain the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) global pandemic focus on expanding vaccination efforts to include vulnerable populations such as pregnant people. Vaccines using messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology rely on translation by immune cells, primarily at the injection site. Hesitancy remains among the general population regarding the safety of mRNA vaccines during gestation, and it remains unknown whether the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein (the product of mRNA vaccines available) accumulates in the placenta after vaccination. Objective: To determine whether Spike protein translation and accumulation occurs in placental tissue in the context of recent mRNA SARC-CoV-2 vaccination during pregnancy. We identified 48 patients receiving one or two doses of mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccine during gestation and used immunohistochemistry against SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded placental tissue. One placenta, positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by in situ hybridization (ISH) was used as positive control. Seven term placentas collected prior to the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 served as negative controls. Eighty one percent of patients in the study group underwent third-trimester delivery; remaining had a first-trimester spontaneous abortion or elective second-trimester termination. Patients received two (52%) or one (48%) vaccine doses during pregnancy, with a median interval between latest dose and delivery of 13 days (range 2-79 days). Most (63%) cases had their latest dose within 15 days prior to delivery. All the placentas in the study and negative control groups were negative for SARS-CoV-2 immunohistochemistry. Six study cases with short vaccine-delivery intervals (2-7 days) were subjected to SARS-CoV-2 ISH and were negative. Our findings suggest that mRNA vaccines do not reach significant concentrations in the placenta given the absence of definitive SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein accumulation in placental tissue. This observation provides evidence supporting the safety of mRNA vaccines to the placental-fetal unit.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Placenta , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , Humans , Placenta/virology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/prevention & control , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Vaccination
3.
Arch Pathol Lab Med ; 146(6): 660-676, 2022 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1876076

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT.­: Perinatal death is an increasingly important problem as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues, but the mechanism of death has been unclear. OBJECTIVE.­: To evaluate the role of the placenta in causing stillbirth and neonatal death following maternal infection with COVID-19 and confirmed placental positivity for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). DESIGN.­: Case-based retrospective clinicopathologic analysis by a multinational group of 44 perinatal specialists from 12 countries of placental and autopsy pathology findings from 64 stillborns and 4 neonatal deaths having placentas testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 following delivery to mothers with COVID-19. RESULTS.­: Of the 3 findings constituting SARS-CoV-2 placentitis, all 68 placentas had increased fibrin deposition and villous trophoblast necrosis and 66 had chronic histiocytic intervillositis. Sixty-three placentas had massive perivillous fibrin deposition. Severe destructive placental disease from SARS-CoV-2 placentitis averaged 77.7% tissue involvement. Other findings included multiple intervillous thrombi (37%; 25 of 68) and chronic villitis (32%; 22 of 68). The majority (19; 63%) of the 30 autopsies revealed no significant fetal abnormalities except for intrauterine hypoxia and asphyxia. Among all 68 cases, SARS-CoV-2 was detected from a body specimen in 16 of 28 cases tested, most frequently from nasopharyngeal swabs. Four autopsied stillborns had SARS-CoV-2 identified in internal organs. CONCLUSIONS.­: The pathology abnormalities composing SARS-CoV-2 placentitis cause widespread and severe placental destruction resulting in placental malperfusion and insufficiency. In these cases, intrauterine and perinatal death likely results directly from placental insufficiency and fetal hypoxic-ischemic injury. There was no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 involvement of the fetus had a role in causing these deaths.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Perinatal Death , Placenta , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , COVID-19/complications , Female , Fibrin , Humans , Hypoxia/pathology , Hypoxia/virology , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Perinatal Death/etiology , Placenta/pathology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/mortality , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stillbirth
4.
Int J Infect Dis ; 118: 24-33, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1838843

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To estimate the prevalence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections among newborn-mother pairs, neonates with sepsis, and infants with hydrocephalus in Uganda. DESIGN AND METHODS: Three populations-newborn-mother pairs, neonates with sepsis, and infants (≤3 months) with nonpostinfectious (NPIH) or postinfectious (PIH) hydrocephalus-were evaluated for CMV infection at 3 medical centers in Uganda. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) was used to characterize the prevalence of CMV. RESULTS: The overall CMV prevalence in 2498 samples across all groups was 9%. In newborn-mother pairs, there was a 3% prevalence of cord blood CMV positivity and 33% prevalence of maternal vaginal shedding. In neonates with clinical sepsis, there was a 2% CMV prevalence. Maternal HIV seropositivity (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 25.20; 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.43-134.26; p = 0.0001), residence in eastern Uganda (aOR 11.06; 95% CI 2.30-76.18; p = 0.003), maternal age <25 years (aOR 4.54; 95% CI 1.40-19.29; p = 0.02), and increasing neonatal age (aOR 1.08 for each day older; 95% CI 1.00-1.16; p = 0.05), were associated risk factors for CMV in neonates with clinical sepsis. We found a 2-fold higher maternal vaginal shedding in eastern (45%) vs western (22%) Uganda during parturition (n = 22/49 vs 11/50, the Fisher exact test; p = 0.02). In infants with PIH, the prevalence in blood was 24% and in infants with NPIH, it was 20%. CMV was present in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 13% of infants with PIH compared with 0.5% of infants with NPIH (n = 26/205 vs 1/194, p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight that congenital and postnatal CMV prevalence is substantial in this African setting, and the long-term consequences are uncharacterized.


Subject(s)
Cytomegalovirus Infections , Hydrocephalus , Sepsis , Adult , Cytomegalovirus Infections/complications , Cytomegalovirus Infections/congenital , Cytomegalovirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Hydrocephalus/epidemiology , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Risk Factors , Sepsis/epidemiology , Uganda/epidemiology
5.
Hum Pathol ; 125: 18-22, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778168

ABSTRACT

Placental pathology can identify characteristic features of specific infectious pathogens. The histopathology of acute SARS-CoV-2 placental infection and exposure without infection has been well described. However, whether the characteristic placental pathology persists after the acute phase of the infection is less clear. We retrospectively identified 67 COVID-19-recovered pregnant patients who had placental pathology available. After reviewing the gross and histopathology, we categorized the findings and studied the placentas for evidence of chronic infection by immunohistochemistry for the spike protein of the virus. We found these placentas showed significantly increased prevalence of maternal and a trend towards significance of fetal vascular malperfusion when compared to a control group of placentas examined for the sole indication of maternal group B streptococcal colonization. None of the COVID-19-recovered placentas showed expression of the viral spike protein; therefore, we found no evidence of persistent infection of the placenta in women with a history of COVID-19 during their pregnancy. We conclude that recovery from a SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy puts the pregnancy at risk for specific pathology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Female , Humans , Placenta/pathology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
7.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 28(3): 510-517, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686417

ABSTRACT

Severe coronavirus disease in neonates is rare. We analyzed clinical, laboratory, and autopsy findings from a neonate in the United States who was delivered at 25 weeks of gestation and died 4 days after birth; the mother had asymptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and preeclampsia. We observed severe diffuse alveolar damage and localized SARS-CoV-2 by immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and electron microscopy of the lungs of the neonate. We localized SARS-CoV-2 RNA in neonatal heart and liver vascular endothelium by using in situ hybridization and detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA in neonatal and placental tissues by using reverse transcription PCR. Subgenomic reverse transcription PCR suggested viral replication in lung/airway, heart, and liver. These findings indicate that in utero SARS-CoV-2 transmission contributed to this neonatal death.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Autopsy , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Lung , Placenta , Pregnancy , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
8.
J Infect Dis ; 225(5): 754-758, 2022 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621621

ABSTRACT

There is limited information on the specific impact of maternal infection with the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (delta) variant on pregnancy outcomes. We present 2 cases of intrauterine fetal demise and 1 case of severe fetal distress in the setting of maternal infection with delta-variant SARS-CoV-2. In all cases, fetal demise or distress occurred within 14 days of COVID-19 diagnosis. Evaluation revealed maternal viremia, high nasopharyngeal viral load, evidence of placental infection with delta-variant SARS-CoV-2, and hallmark features of SARS-CoV-2 placentitis. We suggest that delta-variant SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy warrants vigilance for placental dysfunction and fetal compromise regardless of disease severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Fetal Death , Fetal Distress , Placenta/virology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19 Testing , Chorioamnionitis , Female , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis
9.
J Infect Dis ; 224(Supplement_6): S642-S646, 2021 Dec 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559852

ABSTRACT

We previously demonstrated that the late gestation placental expression pattern of ACE2 (the primary severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2] receptor) is localized to the villous syncytiotrophoblast (ST), usually in a polarized membranous pattern at the ST base sparing the apical surface (that directly exposed to maternal blood). We found that the late gestation placental expression pattern of TMPRSS2 (the spike proteinase required for SARS-CoV-2 cellular infection), is usually absent in the trophoblast but is rarely, weakly expressed in the placental endothelium. We now show the developmental protein expression patterns of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 by immunohistochemistry throughout gestation, from the first through third trimester. We found that TMPRSS2 expression was rarely detectable in villous endothelium and very rarely detectable in the ST across gestation. We found that ACE2 expression varied during gestation with circumferential ST expression more common in early gestations and polarized expression more common in later gestation. Although this study is small, these preliminary results suggest that earlier gestation pregnancies may be more vulnerable to infection than later gestation pregnancies.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19 , Placenta/metabolism , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Female , Gestational Age , Humans , Placenta/virology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/metabolism , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Trophoblasts
10.
J Infect Dis ; 224(Suppl 6): S647-S659, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559634

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and type II transmembrane serine protease (TMPRSS2), host molecules required for viral entry, may underlie sex differences in vulnerability to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. We investigated whether placental ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression vary by fetal sex in the presence of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: Placental ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression was quantified by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and by Western blot in 68 pregnant women (38 SARS-CoV-2 positive, 30 SARS-CoV-2 negative) delivering at Mass General Brigham from April to June 2020. The impact of fetal sex and maternal SARS-CoV-2 exposure on ACE2 and TMPRSS2 was analyzed by 2-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). RESULTS: Maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection impacted placental TMPRSS2 expression in a sexually dimorphic fashion (2-way ANOVA interaction, P = .002). We observed no impact of fetal sex or maternal SARS-CoV-2 status on ACE2. TMPRSS2 expression was significantly correlated with ACE2 expression in males (Spearman ρ = 0.54, P = .02) but not females (ρ = 0.23, P = .34) exposed to maternal SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSIONS: Sex differences in placental TMPRSS2 but not ACE2 were observed in the setting of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection, which may have implications for offspring vulnerability to placental infection.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , Fetal Blood/immunology , Placenta/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Sex Factors , Adult , COVID-19/blood , Female , Fetal Blood/virology , Fetus/virology , Gene Expression , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Male , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology
12.
Sci Transl Med ; 13(617): eabi7428, 2021 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476378

ABSTRACT

There is a persistent bias toward higher prevalence and increased severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in males. Underlying mechanisms accounting for this sex difference remain incompletely understood. Interferon responses have been implicated as a modulator of COVID-19 disease in adults and play a key role in the placental antiviral response. Moreover, the interferon response has been shown to alter Fc receptor expression and therefore may affect placental antibody transfer. Here, we examined the intersection of maternal-fetal antibody transfer, viral-induced placental interferon responses, and fetal sex in pregnant women infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Placental Fc receptor abundance, interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) expression, and SARS-CoV-2 antibody transfer were interrogated in 68 human pregnancies. Sexually dimorphic expression of placental Fc receptors, ISGs and proteins, and interleukin-10 was observed after maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection, with up-regulation of these features in placental tissue of pregnant individuals with male fetuses. Reduced maternal SARS-CoV-2­specific antibody titers and impaired placental antibody transfer were also observed in pregnancies with a male fetus. These results demonstrate fetal sex-specific maternal and placental adaptive and innate immune responses to SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Female , Humans , Immunity , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Placenta , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Am J Obstet Gynecol ; 225(6): 593.e1-593.e9, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439825

ABSTRACT

Pregnant individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 have higher rates of intensive care unit admission, oxygen requirement, need for mechanical ventilation, and death than nonpregnant individuals. Increased COVID-19 disease severity may be associated with an increased risk of viremia and placental infection. Maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection is also associated with pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and preterm birth, which can be either placentally mediated or reflected in the placenta. Maternal viremia followed by placental infection may lead to maternal-fetal transmission (vertical), which affects 1% to 3% of exposed newborns. However, there is no agreed-upon or standard definition of placental infection. The National Institutes of Health/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development convened a group of experts to propose a working definition of placental infection to inform ongoing studies of SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy. Experts recommended that placental infection be defined using techniques that allow virus detection and localization in placental tissue by one or more of the following methods: in situ hybridization with antisense probe (detects replication) or a sense probe (detects viral messenger RNA) or immunohistochemistry to detect viral nucleocapsid or spike proteins. If the abovementioned methods are not possible, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction detection or quantification of viral RNA in placental homogenates, or electron microscopy are alternative approaches. A graded classification for the likelihood of placental infection as definitive, probable, possible, and unlikely was proposed. Manuscripts reporting placental infection should describe the sampling method (location and number of samples collected), method of preservation of tissue, and detection technique. Recommendations were made for the handling of the placenta, examination, and sampling and the use of validated reagents and sample protocols (included as appendices).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Placenta Diseases/diagnosis , Placenta Diseases/virology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Consensus , Female , Guidelines as Topic , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , In Situ Hybridization , Microscopy, Electron , National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (U.S.) , Pregnancy , United States/epidemiology
14.
Placenta ; 109: 72-74, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386464

ABSTRACT

Whether early SARS-CoV-2 definitively increases the risk of stillbirth is unknown, though studies have suggested possible trends of stillbirth increase during the pandemic. This study of third trimester stillbirth does not identify an increase in rates during the first wave of the pandemic period, however investigation of the placental pathology demonstrates trends towards more vascular placental abnormalities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Placenta Diseases/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Pregnancy Trimester, Third , Stillbirth/epidemiology , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Cause of Death , Female , Fetal Death/etiology , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Placenta/pathology , Placenta Diseases/etiology , Placenta Diseases/pathology , Placenta Diseases/virology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/mortality , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
15.
Cell ; 184(3): 628-642.e10, 2021 02 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385216

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection causes more severe disease in pregnant women compared to age-matched non-pregnant women. Whether maternal infection causes changes in the transfer of immunity to infants remains unclear. Maternal infections have previously been associated with compromised placental antibody transfer, but the mechanism underlying this compromised transfer is not established. Here, we used systems serology to characterize the Fc profile of influenza-, pertussis-, and SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies transferred across the placenta. Influenza- and pertussis-specific antibodies were actively transferred. However, SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody transfer was significantly reduced compared to influenza- and pertussis-specific antibodies, and cord titers and functional activity were lower than in maternal plasma. This effect was only observed in third-trimester infection. SARS-CoV-2-specific transfer was linked to altered SARS-CoV-2-antibody glycosylation profiles and was partially rescued by infection-induced increases in IgG and increased FCGR3A placental expression. These results point to unexpected compensatory mechanisms to boost immunity in neonates, providing insights for maternal vaccine design.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Maternal-Fetal Exchange/immunology , Placenta/immunology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Trimester, Third/immunology , Receptors, IgG/immunology , THP-1 Cells
16.
J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc ; 9(5): 636-639, 2020 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387930

ABSTRACT

Little is known about the effects of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on pregnant mothers and their infants. Moreover, there is no definitive evidence that SARS CoV- 2 can be vertically transmitted from an infected mother to the unborn fetus.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Placenta/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , In Situ Hybridization , Infant, Newborn , Nasopharynx/virology , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
17.
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology ; 224(2):S568-S569, 2021.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1384871

ABSTRACT

Objective: Sex differences in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection have been described. ACE2 and TMPRSS2, host cell receptors required for viral entry, are regulated by sex steroids and expressed by trophoblasts. Although vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is rare, how the placenta defends against SARS-CoV-2, and whether there is a sex bias in the risk of vertical transmission, is not well understood. We sought to investigate whether placental ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression vary by fetal sex in the presence of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection. Study Design: This is a cohort study of 66 pregnant women (37 SARS-CoV-2 exposed, 29 SARS-CoV-2 unexposed) enrolled on admission to Massachusetts General Hospital from April-June 2020, coincident with universal screening for SARS-CoV-2 infection. SARS-CoV-2 exposure status was determined by nasopharyngeal RT-PCR. Groups were balanced for fetal sex and maternal disease severity. RNA was isolated from placental homogenates and RTqPCR was performed to quantify expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 relative to the reference gene YWHAZ, using the 2-(DELTADELTACt) method. The impact of fetal sex and SARS-CoV-2 exposure on ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression was analyzed by 2-way ANOVA. Previously determined placental viral loads showed no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in any placentas. Result(s): While there were no fetal sex or SARS-CoV-2 exposure-mediated differences in ACE2 expression (1A), we observed 1.73-fold increased TMPRSS2 expression in SARS-CoV-2 exposed placentas of female offspring compared to female controls (P=0.04, 1B), and 1.84 -fold reduced TMPRSS2 expression in SARS-CoV-2 exposed placentas of male offspring compared to male controls (P=0.0003, 1B). TMPRSS2 expression was significantly higher in placentas of male compared to female offspring in controls (P<0.0001). Conclusion(s): Sexually dimorphic patterns of TMPRSS2 placental gene expression were observed in the setting of maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection, driven by sex differences in TMPRSS2 expression in controls. Implications of these findings for offspring vulnerability to vertical transmission warrants further investigation. [Formula presented]Copyright © 2020

18.
Arch Pathol Lab Med ; 145(11): 1341-1349, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337799

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT.­: Case reports and rare case series have demonstrated variable placental pathology in the setting of maternal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. In rare small studies demonstrating infection of the placental parenchyma, histologic manifestations have included variable degrees of histiocytic intervillositis, perivillous fibrin deposition, and syncytiotrophoblast necrosis. OBJECTIVE.­: To characterize the placental pathologic features of SARS-CoV-2-infected placentas, irrespective of fetal-maternal transmission, and to examine the frequency of C4d activation in such cases. DESIGN.­: A retrospective study of 7 placentas from mothers with active SARS-CoV-2 infection and placental infection as demonstrated by RNA in situ hybridization was conducted. RESULTS.­: There were 6 placentas from live-born neonates (5 singletons, 1 nonfused diamniotic-dichorionic twin placenta), and 1 was from a stillbirth. A total of 5 of the 8 neonates (including the stillbirth) tested negative for SARS-CoV-2, and all were negative for neonatal infection. The remaining 3 neonates were well at time of discharge. All placentas were positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection by RNA in situ hybridization and demonstrated variable degrees of histiocytic intervillositis, perivillous fibrin deposition, and trophoblast necrosis. Three cases demonstrated features of fetal vascular malperfusion. CD68 highlighted intervillous histiocytes. C4d expression was present along the villous borders in 6 of 7 cases. CONCLUSIONS.­: SARS-CoV-2 placentitis is defined by the triad of histiocytic intervillositis, perivillous fibrin deposition, and trophoblast necrosis. The features may occur in cases without confirmed transplacental transmission. The damage caused by SARS-CoV-2 placentitis is likely mediated by complement activation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Placenta Diseases/diagnosis , Placenta/pathology , Placenta/virology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Adult , Biomarkers/metabolism , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Placenta Diseases/immunology , Placenta Diseases/pathology , Placenta Diseases/virology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/immunology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Retrospective Studies , Stillbirth
19.
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology ; 224(2, Supplement):S568-S569, 2021.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1056213
20.
JAMA Netw Open ; 3(12): e2030455, 2020 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-985883

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
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