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Am J Obstet Gynecol ; 225(6): 593.e1-593.e9, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439825


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).

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
J Infect Dis ; 224(Supplement_6): S631-S641, 2021 Dec 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1195718


BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) binding receptor ACE2 and the spike protein priming protease TMPRSS2 are coexpressed in human placentae. It is unknown whether their expression is altered in the context of HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy (ART). METHODS: We compared mRNA levels of SARS-CoV-2 cell-entry mediators ACE2, TMPRSS2, and L-SIGN by quantitative polymerase chain reaction in 105 placentae: 45 from pregnant women with HIV (WHIV) on protease inhibitor (PI)-based ART, 17 from WHIV on non-PI-based ART, and 43 from HIV-uninfected women. RESULTS: ACE2 levels were lower, while L-SIGN levels were higher, in placentae from WHIV on PI-based ART compared to those on non-PI-based ART and to HIV-uninfected women. TMPRSS2 levels were similar between groups. Black race was significantly associated with lower expression of ACE2 and higher expression of L-SIGN. ACE2 levels were significantly higher in placentae of female fetuses. CONCLUSIONS: We identified pregnant women of black race and WHIV on PI-based ART to have relatively lower expression of placental ACE2 than those of white race and HIV-uninfected women. This may potentially contribute to altered susceptibility to COVID-19 in these women, favorably by reduced viral entry or detrimentally by loss of ACE2 protection against hyperinflammation.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19 , Cell Adhesion Molecules/metabolism , HIV Infections/blood , Lectins, C-Type/metabolism , Placenta/metabolism , Receptors, Cell Surface/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active , COVID-19/diagnosis , Case-Control Studies , Cell Adhesion Molecules/genetics , Female , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Humans , Lectins, C-Type/genetics , Pregnancy , RNA, Messenger , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Receptors, Cell Surface/genetics