Assessment and Follow-up of SARS-Cov-2 Infection in Pregnant Women and Neonates
Kirsten Maertens, PhD
BACKGROUND: The current SARS-CoV-2 outbreak affects us all. As with all infections, certain subpopulations are more vulnerable to severe disease and even death and therefore require more research. Pregnant women and neonates are traditionally considered as immunologically different from the general population, certainly in view of infectious disease. Since little to nothing is known to the scientific world of this new virus, researchers and health care personnel dealing with pregnant women and their neonates do have concerns on the possibly enhanced risk for severe morbidity.
GAP: Scientific evidence on the clinical and biological impact of the virus in vulnerable populations including pregnant women, fetuses and neonates is currently lacking.
HYPOTHESIS: Given the recent history of the SARS-CoV-2 virus resulting in the absence of robust data regarding the consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant women and neonates, no hypothesis can be postulated.
METHODS: Women who are pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic and their neonates are included in a prospective cohort study. These mother-infant pairs will be followed for COVID-19 infection and COVID-19 related clinical symptoms/consequences during the entire pregnancy up till one year postpartum. Additionally, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in maternal blood and cord blood at delivery will be measured.
IMPACT: Accurate data on the impact of COVID-19 infection on pregnant women, fetuses and neonates will allow to formulate evidence-based recommendations on prevention, treatment and vaccination and to provide accurate public health measures and management for pregnant women and their neonates.