COVID-19 is commonly mild or asymptomatic in pregnant women, especially in early pregnancy

A multicenter study coordinated by the researchers from the maternal-fetal medicine line within the Kids Corona platform has analyzed 874 cases of pregnant women with COVID-19 in the first and third trimester. This investigation has been carried out within the framework of BCNatal, which joins together SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital and Hospital Clínic, and has also included cases from the Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona.

The results, published in The Lancet, show that 14% of pregnant women have antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, a substantially larger proportion than the present rates of PCR positive cases reported for women aged between 20 and 40 years in Barcelona (0.78%), and most have developed the infection asymptomatically or with mild symptoms.

Although the susceptibility to infection seems to be the same in the first and third trimesters of gestation, the few pregnant women with more severe symptoms were those who contracted the infection during the third trimester, which is in line with earlier reports. This suggests that, as with other respiratory viruses, SARS-CoV-2 might cause a more severe disease and require greater surveillance in late pregnancy than in early pregnancy. Long-term follow-up of the infants is now underway together with further analysis of the serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cells samples obtained for the study.

This investigation has been funded by the Kids Corona Child and Mother COVID-19 Open Data and Biobank Initiative, SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital, the LaCaixa Foundation, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), the Banco Santander and other private donors of Kids Corona.


Crovetto et al. Seroprevalence and presentation of SARS-CoV-2 in pregnancy. The Lancet. August 06, 2020. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31714-1.

The results, published in The Lancet, show that 14% of pregnant women have antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.