The current coronavirus pandemic affects us all. As with all infections, certain subpopulations are more
vulnerable to severe disease and even death and require therefore more research. In this pandemic,
the elderly and immunologically fragile people are more prone to severe disease. Pregnant women and
very young infants are traditionally also considered as immunologically different from the general
population, certainly in view of infectious diseases. Since little to nothing is known to the scientific
world of this new virus, researchers and health care personnel dealing with pregnant women and their
neonates do have concerns on the risk they run.
This project offers a unique opportunity to map the impact of the current pandemic in a vulnerable
subpopulation of the society. The main objective of the project is to quantify the impact of the SARSCoV-
2 pandemic in pregnant women and their newborns/infants by assessing the rate of transmission,
the overall health, mental well-being, immunological responses and clinical outcomes of clinicallysuspected
and laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infections in pregnant women and their neonates. Data
will be collected through online questionnaires that will be send to pregnant women at a 2 week
interval until 8 weeks postpartum. This will enables us to monitor possible COVID-19 infections in
pregnancy and to look at possible adverse outcomes in pregnant women, fetuses and neonates. At 12
months postpartum, women will be contacted again to look at possible long-term consequences of
COVID-19 infections in pregnancy on infants. Additionally, pregnant women participating in the
surveillance study will be asked to provide maternal and cord blood samples at delivery to measure the
prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies in pregnant women and newborns and to measure the
transplacental transfer of SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies from mother to infant during pregnancy.
Data from this project will be used to formulate evidence-based recommendations on prevention,
treatment and vaccination for COVID-19 in pregnant women and neonates. Additionally, this project
will provide information for policy makers and experts in the field on public health measures and
management of pregnant women and neonates during this pandemic.