SARS-CoV-2 infection in mothers does not have a significant teratogenic effect


In a latest Birth Defects Research examine, United States-based scientists decided that an infection with the extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the course of the first trimester of being pregnant doesn’t enhance the danger of any particular congenital malformations.

Research: First trimester COVID-19 and the risk of major congenital malformations–International Registry of Coronavirus Exposure in Pregnancy. Picture Credit score: SciePro /


Vertical transmission of viruses from the moms to the fetus is a significant healthcare concern, as it could actually result in extreme congenital malformations. Start defects are outlined as structural and purposeful anomalies in infants that happen throughout being pregnant.

Some viral infections which might be infamous for inflicting congenital malformations throughout being pregnant embody cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex and varicella-zoster virus, Toxoplasmosis gondii, and Zika virus.  

In pregnant ladies with confirmed coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19), transplacental transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is taken into account a uncommon occasion. Nevertheless, congenital malformations can happen, even in absence of transplacental transmission. In pregnant ladies with influenza an infection, for instance, abnormally excessive physique temperature may cause neural tube defects in infants.    

Within the present examine, scientists consider the danger of start defects in pregnant ladies who’ve been uncovered to SARS-CoV-2 in the course of the first 12 weeks of being pregnant.

Research design

The Worldwide Registry of Coronavirus Publicity in Being pregnant (IRCEP) was utilized to evaluate the danger of start defects. The IRCEP is an observational cohort examine that has been designed to estimate the danger of perinatal adversities in infants born to ladies identified with COVID-19.

Grownup ladies who had been examined for or had a confirmed COVID-19 prognosis throughout being pregnant enrolled for the IRCEP examine between June 2020 and July 2021. Info on SARS-CoV-2 an infection, being pregnant outcomes, start defects, and potential threat components had been collected from the contributors via on-line questionnaires.

The evaluation of malformations was restricted to ladies with reverse transcription-polymerase chain response (RT-PCR)-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 an infection or scientific prognosis of COVID-19 in the course of the first trimester of being pregnant.

Within the IRCEP examine, over 17,000 ladies participated from 78 nations. SARS-CoV-2 an infection was reported by 1,727 ladies, whereas 10,235 ladies talked about unfavorable SARS-CoV-2 take a look at outcomes.

Within the present evaluation, ladies who accomplished the follow-up and offered info concerning the presence of start defects had been included. This led to the identification of 92 ladies with SARS-CoV-2 an infection and 292 ladies with out an infection who served as reference pregnancies.

Vital observations

The first evaluation included ladies who enrolled earlier than the top of being pregnant, whereas a second delicate evaluation included ladies who enrolled earlier than the prenatal screening for malformations. The ultimate expanded evaluation included ladies who enrolled within the examine after being pregnant.

The first evaluation revealed that the prevalence of start defects was 3.3% amongst SARS-CoV-2-infected ladies and a pair of.7% amongst non-infected ladies. Equally, the delicate evaluation discovered that about 3% and 1.2% of contaminated and non-infected pregnancies had been related to start defects, respectively.

In accordance with the expanded evaluation, the prevalence of start defects was 4.4% and 1.8% amongst contaminated and non-infected ladies, respectively.

Amongst SARS-CoV-2-infected ladies, three circumstances of start defects had been recognized. Nevertheless, no particular sample of start defects was observed amongst these infants. That is reassuring, as fetal publicity to any type of pathogen is mostly related to a selected sample of start defects.


The examine findings point out that maternal SARS-CoV-2 an infection in the course of the first 12 weeks of being pregnant doesn’t enhance the danger of start defects in infants. The present examine particularly focuses on infections in the course of the first trimester, as most start defects develop throughout this era.

For the reason that examine has been carried out on a small variety of pregnant ladies, the relative threat estimates might not be exact. Thus, extra research with bigger pattern sizes are required to conclusively perceive the affect of SARS-CoV-2 an infection on start defects.

Journal reference:

  • Hernández-Díaz, S., Smith, L. H., Wyszynski, D. F., et al. (2022). First trimester COVID-19 and the danger of main congenital malformations–Worldwide Registry of Coronavirus Publicity in Being pregnant. Start Defects Analysis. doi:10.1002/bdr2.2070
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