Gestation and COVID-19: clinical and microbiological observational study (Gesta-COVID19)

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2021 Jan 22;21(1):78. doi: 10.1186/s12884-021-03572-4.


Background: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a novel disease which has been having a worldwide affect since December 2019. Evidence regarding the effects of SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy is conflicting. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 has been demonstrated in biological samples during pregnancy (placenta, umbilical cord or amniotic fluid); however, maternal and fetal effects of the virus are not well known.

Methods: Descriptive, multicentre, longitudinal, observational study in eight tertiary care hospitals throughout Spain, that are referral centres for pregnant women with COVID-19. All pregnant women with positive SARS-CoV-2 real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction during their pregnancy or 14 days preconception and newborns born to mothers infected with SARS-CoV-2 will be included. They will continue to be followed up until 4 weeks after delivery. The aim of the study is to investigate both the effect of COVID-19 on the pregnancy, and the effect of the pregnancy status with the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 disease. Other samples (faeces, urine, serum, amniotic fluid, cord and peripheral blood, placenta and breastmilk) will be collected in order to analyse whether or not there is a risk of vertical transmission and to describe the behaviour of the virus in other fluids. Neonates will be followed until 6 months after delivery to establish the rate of neonatal transmission. We aim to include 150 pregnant women and their babies. Ethics approval will be obtained from all the participating centres.

Discussion: There is little information known about COVID-19 and its unknown effects on pregnancy. This study will collect a large number of samples in pregnant women which will allow us to demonstrate the behaviour of the virus in pregnancy and postpartum in a representative cohort of the Spanish population.

Keywords: Amniotic fluid; Breastmilk; COVID-19; Cord blood; Placenta; Pregnancy; SARS-CoV-2; Vertical transmission.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Amniotic Fluid / virology
  • COVID-19 / mortality
  • COVID-19 / physiopathology*
  • COVID-19 / transmission
  • Feces / virology
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / virology
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / statistics & numerical data
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Milk, Human / virology
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Perinatal Mortality
  • Placenta / virology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / mortality
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / physiopathology*
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Urine / virology