Should pregnant women be screened for SARS-CoV-2 infection? A prospective multicenter cohort study

Enav Yefet, Manal Massalha, Adi Alter, Amit Gal Harnik, Sally Hosari Mahamed, Lia Novick, Malak Wattad, Jawad Sakas, Shira Baram, Amir Weiss, Rula Iskander, Avi Peretz, Orit Rozenberg, Johnny S. Younis, Yuri Perlitz, Zohar Nachum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), ranges from asymptomatic to severe infection. We aimed to compare the prevalence of COVID-19 in asymptomatic pregnant versus nonpregnant women in order to establish recommendations for a COVID-19 screening strategy. Methods: A prospective multicenter cohort study was conducted. Asymptomatic pregnant or nonpregnant women after March 2020 (the time when COVID-19 was first detected in north Israel) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 using nasopharyngeal reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test, anti-nucleocapsid IgG, and anti-spike IgG. Diagnosis was made if at least one test result was positive. Pregnant women were tested between 34 and 42 weeks, mostly at birth. Results: Among the 297 participating women, 152 were pregnant and 145 were nonpregnant. The prevalence of asymptomatic COVID-19 was similar between the groups (4 [2.6%] and 8 [5.5%], respectively; P = 0.2). All women with COVID-19 delivered healthy appropriate-for-gestational-age babies without malformations, at term. Conclusions: The rate of asymptomatic COVID-19 in pregnant women is low and comparable to the rate among nonpregnant women. Pregnancy outcomes are favorable. Future screening programs should consider that one of 25 screened asymptomatic women will be positive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-166
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • pregnancy
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Should pregnant women be screened for SARS-CoV-2 infection? A prospective multicenter cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this