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Why Are Pregnant Women Susceptible to COVID-19? An Immunological Viewpoint

Published time: 16 March 2020

Authors: Hong Liu, Li-LingWang, Si-Jia Zhao, Joanne Kwak-Kim, Gil Mor, Ai-Hua Liao

Keywords: COVID-19, Pregnancy, Placenta, Maternal-fetal interface, Immunity


The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was first detected in December 2019 and became epidemic in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. COVID-19 has been rapidly spreading out in China and all over the world. The virus causing COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 has been known to be genetically similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) but distinct from it. Clinical manifestation of COVID-19 can be characterized by mild upper respiratory tract infection, lower respiratory tract infection involving non-life threatening pneumonia, and life-threatening pneumonia with acute respiratory distress syndrome. It affects all age groups, including newborns, to the elders. Particularly, pregnant women may be more susceptible to COVID-19 since pregnant women, in general, are vulnerable to respiratory infection. In pregnant women with COVID-19, there is no evidence for vertical transmission of the virus, but an increased prevalence of preterm deliveries has been noticed. The COVID-19 may alter immune responses at the maternal-fetal interface, and affect the well-being of mothers and infants. In this review, we focused on the reason why pregnant women are more susceptible to COVID-19 and the potential maternal and fetal complications from an immunological viewpoint.

Why Are Pregnant Women Susceptible To COVID-19 An Immunological Viewpoint



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