Transplacental transfer of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies: a cohort study

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The purpose of this study was to examine the transfer rate of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in pregnancy and newborns. Two Danish labor wards screened all women for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR upon arrival. Women (n = 99) with a SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive nasopharyngeal (NP) swab or with a household member with a positive swab at labor or any time during pregnancy, or COVID-19 symptoms upon admission (November 2020 through August 2021), were included. Mother and infant were tested by NP swabs at delivery, and maternal and infant (umbilical cord) venous blood samples were collected. We obtained clinical information including previous PCR test results from the medical records. SARS-Cov-2 IgM and quantified IgG antibodies were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and transfer ratios of IgG. We detected IgG antibodies in 73 women and 65 cord blood sera and found a strong correlation between SARS-CoV-2 IgG concentrations in maternal and umbilical cord sera (r = 0.9; p < 0.05). Transfer ratio was > 1.0 in 51 out of 73 (69%) infants and > 1.5 in 26 (35%). We found that transfer was proportional to time from a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR NP swab to delivery (r = 0.5; p < 0.05). Transfer ratios of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were associated with time from infection to delivery with transfer ratios of more than 1.0 in the majority of seropositive mother-infant dyads.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean journal of clinical microbiology & infectious diseases : official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology
Pages (from-to)277-285
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023. The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Antibodies, Infant, Neonatal, Placental transfer ratio, Pregnancy, SARS-CoV-2

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