Maternal-fetal immune responses in pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2

Valeria Garcia-Flores, Roberto Romero, Yi Xu, Kevin R. Theis, Marcia Arenas-Hernandez, Derek Miller, Azam Peyvandipour, Gaurav Bhatti, Jose Galaz, Meyer Gershater, Dustyn Levenson, Errile Pusod, Li Tao, David Kracht, Violetta Florova, Yaozhu Leng, Kenichiro Motomura, Robert Para, Megan Faucett, Chaur Dong HsuGary Zhang, Adi L. Tarca, Roger Pique-Regi, Nardhy Gomez-Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Pregnant women represent a high-risk population for severe/critical COVID-19 and mortality. However, the maternal-fetal immune responses initiated by SARS-CoV-2 infection, and whether this virus is detectable in the placenta, are still under investigation. Here we show that SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy primarily induces unique inflammatory responses at the maternal-fetal interface, which are largely governed by maternal T cells and fetal stromal cells. SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy is also associated with humoral and cellular immune responses in the maternal blood, as well as with a mild cytokine response in the neonatal circulation (i.e., umbilical cord blood), without compromising the T-cell repertoire or initiating IgM responses. Importantly, SARS-CoV-2 is not detected in the placental tissues, nor is the sterility of the placenta compromised by maternal viral infection. This study provides insight into the maternal-fetal immune responses triggered by SARS-CoV-2 and emphasizes the rarity of placental infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number320
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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