COVID-19 rapid testing and the impact of the novel coronavirus on pregnancy

Conference News 22 Oct 2020

Increased complications for pregnant women with COVID-19

In a study conducted in New York, USA, findings showed that almost half (46.7%) of women who tested positive for COVID-19 and displayed symptoms delivered by caesarian, compared to 45.5% of those who tested positive but were asymptomatic, and only 30.9% of women who did not have COVID-19 had caesarian deliveries. Postpartum complications (fever, hypoxia, readmission) were also found in 12.9% of women with COVID-19 versus 4.5% of women without COVID-19.

Malavika Prabhu of Weill Cornell Medicine reported that among pregnant women with COVID-19 at delivery, the study observed increased caesarean delivery rates and increased frequency of maternal complications in the postpartum period. Prabhu noted that additionally, intraplacental thrombi may have maternal and fetal implications for people with COVID-19.

“Overall, during the delivery hospitalisation, maternal and perinatal outcomes seemed reassuring, with no evidence of vertical transmission, no differences in the prematurity rate, although we did note some increases in caesarean delivery rate among women who were SARS-CoV-2 positive. However, 9 out of the 70 women with COVID-19 experienced at least one postpartum complication, which was 12.9% of all women – far greater than the 4.5% of women who experience any postpartum complication if they were SARS-CoV-2 negative, suggesting that the postpartum period specifically is a vulnerable time for pregnant women with COVID-19.”

Session: Symposia -COVID-19 in pregnant women  Saturday 24 October, 12:30 – 13:50. Abstract: Pregnancy and Postpartum Outcomes of COVID-19 in New York City: A Multi-center Prospective Cohort Study

Accuracy of ARS-CoV-2 Antigen-detection rapid diagnostic tests

A multicentre, prospective study was conducted across COVID-19 testing centres in Brazil, the UK and Germany to assess the clinical accuracy of rapid diagnostics that detect SARS-CoV-2 antigens (Ag-RDTs) in persons presumed to have COVID-19 compared to routine nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs (RT-PCR).

Jilian Sacks of the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) reported that clinical performance of the tests studied varied widely, but that even with the substantial variability, at least two Ag-RDTs meet WHO targets. While their sensitivity may be imperfect, they are likely to be useful in clinical settings given their quick turnaround times and usability at point-of-care.

Session: The Union late-breaker session on COVID-19, Thursday 22 October, 15:00 – 16:20. Abstract: Clinical accuracy, ease of use and limit of detection (LOD) of SARS-CoV-2 Antigen-detection rapid diagnostic tests

Screening for TB and COVID-19 coinfection in high TB incidence communities.

A study in Lima, Peru, found that while screening people for COVID-19, 1.6% of those who reported coughs tested positive for TB (using Xpert MTB/Rif Ultra). Marco Tovar of Partners in Health reported that the implementation of active case finding of TB among people screened for COVID-19 in communities with a high incidence of TB is needed.

Session: The Union late-breaker session on COVID-19, Thursday 22 October, 15:00 – 16:20. Abstract: Tuberculosis and COVID-19 Co-infection among people with cough screened during the active case finding of COVID-19 in community with a high prevalence of tuberculosis (LB-2122-22)

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