COVID-19 during pregnancy can cause placental inflammation and impaired immunity

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A new study conducted by a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University, USA, has observed how pregnant women infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) show stunted antiviral immune responses. The team also observed signs of inflammation in the placenta. These findings could inform therapeutic approaches to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in pregnant women. The study has been made available as a preprint on the medRxiv* server.

The general impression is that COVID-19 in pregnancy is mostly asymptomatic or mild, even though typically pregnant women and their babies are at higher risk for severe complications from infections. This is known to be due to the significant alterations in immunological and endocrine functions in pregnancy.