Seroepidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in a cohort of pregnant women and their infants in Uganda and Malawi

Copyright: © 2024 Hookham et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited..

BACKGROUND: Data on SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy and infancy has accumulated throughout the course of the pandemic, though evidence regarding asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and adverse birth outcomes are scarce. Limited information is available from countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The pregnant woman and infant COVID in Africa study (PeriCOVID Africa) is a South-South-North partnership involving hospitals and health centres in five countries: Malawi, Uganda, Mozambique, The Gambia, and Kenya. The study leveraged data from three ongoing prospective cohort studies: Preparing for Group B Streptococcal Vaccines (GBS PREPARE), SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 in women and their infants in Kampala and Mukono (COMAC) and Pregnancy Care Integrating Translational Science Everywhere (PRECISE). In this paper we describe the seroepidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant women enrolled in sites in Uganda and Malawi, and the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on pregnancy and infant outcomes.

OUTCOME: Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in maternal blood, reported as the proportion of seropositive women by study site and wave of COVID-19 within each country.

METHODS: The PeriCOVID study was a prospective mother-infant cohort study that recruited pregnant women at any gestation antenatally or on the day of delivery. Maternal and cord blood samples were tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using Wantai and Euroimmune ELISA. In periCOVID Uganda and Malawi nose and throat swabs for SARS-Cov-2 RT-PCR were obtained.

RESULTS: In total, 1379 women were enrolled, giving birth to 1387 infants. Overall, 63% of pregnant women had a SARS-CoV-2 positive serology. Over subsequent waves (delta and omicron), in the absence of vaccination, seropositivity rose from 20% to over 80%. The placental transfer GMR was 1.7, indicating active placental transfer of anti-spike IgG. There was no association between SARS-CoV-2 antibody positivity and adverse pregnancy or infancy outcomes.

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Electronic Article

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To Main Record - volume:19

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PloS one - 19(2024), 3 vom: 05., Seite e0290913




Hookham, Lauren [Author]
Cantrell, Liberty [Author]
Cose, Stephen [Author]
Freyne, Bridget [Author]
Gadama, Luis [Author]
Imede, Esther [Author]
Kawaza, Kondwani [Author]
Lissauer, Samantha [Author]
Musoke, Phillipa [Author]
Nankabirwa, Victoria [Author]
Sekikubo, Musa [Author]
Sommerfelt, Halvor [Author]
Voysey, Merryn [Author]
Le Doare, Kirsty [Author]
periCOVID Consortium [Author]




Journal Article


Date Completed 04.03.2024

Date Revised 13.03.2024

published: Electronic-eCollection

Citation Status MEDLINE




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