A new study has found that COVID-19 can zap the placenta’s immune response, potentially increasing the risk of miscarriage or premature birth.
The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, looked at placentas from pregnant women who had been infected with COVID-19. They found that the placentas had significantly reduced levels of certain immune cells, known as natural killer (NK) cells.
NK cells are important for protecting the fetus from viral infections, and their reduction could explain why some pregnant women infected with COVID-19 experience complications such as miscarriage or premature birth.
The study authors say that more research is needed to understand the full extent of the impact of COVID-19 on the placenta and pregnancy. However, their findings suggest that pregnant women with COVID-19 may need extra monitoring and support to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
A new study has found that the placenta’s immune response is suppressed in pregnant women with COVID-19.
The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, looked at the placentas of 18 pregnant women with COVID-19 and found that the virus had caused a “profound suppression” of the placenta’s immune response.
Lead author Dr. Hannele Savolainen-Peltonen, from the University of Helsinki, said that the findings could explain why pregnant women with COVID-19 are at a higher risk of developing severe complications from the virus.
“Our findings suggest that the placenta may be one of the targets of the virus,” she said. “The suppression of the placental immune response may be one mechanism by which the virus causes severe disease in pregnant women.”
The study found that the placentas of women with COVID-19 had high levels of a protein called IFN-lambda, which is known to suppress the immune response.
Dr. Savolainen-Peltonen said that the findings could help to develop better treatments for pregnant women with COVID-19.
“If we can find a way to boost the placental immune response, we may be able to improve the outcomes for pregnant women with COVID-19,” she said.