COVID-19 in pregnancy: Placental and neonatal involvement

Erica Prochaska, Minyoung Jang, Irina Burd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Since December 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused over 12 million infections and more than 550 000 deaths.1 Morbidity and mortality appear partly due to host inflammatory response.2 Despite rapid, global research, the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on the developing fetus remains unclear. Case reports indicate that vertical transmission is uncommon; however, there is evidence that placental and fetal infection can occur.3-7 Placentas from infected patients show inflammatory, thrombotic, and vascular changes that have been found in other inflammatory conditions.8,9 This suggests that the inflammatory nature of SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy could cause adverse obstetric and neonatal events. Exposure to intrauterine inflammation and placental changes could also potentially result in long-term, multisystemic defects in exposed infants. This review will summarize the known literature on the placenta in SARS-CoV-2 infection, evidence of vertical transmission, and possible outcomes of prenatal exposure to the virus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13306
JournalAmerican Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • COVID-19
  • intrauterine infection
  • neonates
  • pathology
  • placenta
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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