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Article

SARS-CoV-2, Placental Histopathology, Gravity of Infection and Immunopathology: Is There an Association?

1
Section of Pathology, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation (DETO), University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, 70124 Bari, Italy
2
Section of Ginecology and Obstetrics, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology (DIMO), University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, 70124 Bari, Italy
3
Section of Legal Medicine, Department of Interdisciplinary Medicine, Bari Policlinico Hospital, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, 70124 Bari, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Oliver Schildgen and Andrew Davidson
Viruses 2022, 14(6), 1330; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14061330
Received: 4 January 2022 / Revised: 11 May 2022 / Accepted: 13 June 2022 / Published: 18 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Section SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19)
(1) Background: As the pandemic months progress, more and more evidence shows that the placenta acts as a “barrier” to SARS-CoV-2, although rare cases of vertical transmission have been described. (2) Methods: In an attempt to investigate whether the symptoms’ severity was related to different placental histological characteristics and the immune microenvironment, we subdivided 29 placentas from 29 mothers positive for SARS-CoV-2 into two groups, depending on the symptomatology (moderate/severe vs. asymptomatic/mild), performing immunohistochemical investigations for CD4 + and CD8 + T lymphocytes, as well as for CD68 + macrophage. We also evaluated the immuno-expression of the ACE2 receptor at the placental level. These two groups were compared to a control group of 28 placentas from 28 SARS-CoV-2-negative healthy mothers. (3) Results: The symptoms (likely to be related to viremia) were statistically significantly correlated (p < 0.05) with histopathological changes, such as maternal malperfusion, decidual arteriopathy, blood vessel thrombus of fetal relevance. Furthermore, the immuno-expression of ACE2 was significantly lower in SARS-CoV-2-positive groups vs. control group (p = 0.001). (4) Conclusions: There is still much to study and discover regarding the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 and histological changes in placentas and how the latter might contribute to various neonatal clinical outcomes, such as prematurity. View Full-Text
Keywords: placenta; SARS-CoV-2; ACE-2; immunohistochemistry; CD4; CD8; RT-PCR; immunopathology placenta; SARS-CoV-2; ACE-2; immunohistochemistry; CD4; CD8; RT-PCR; immunopathology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Resta, L.; Vimercati, A.; Cazzato, G.; Fanelli, M.; Scarcella, S.V.; Ingravallo, G.; Colagrande, A.; Sablone, S.; Stolfa, M.; Arezzo, F.; Lettini, T.; Rossi, R. SARS-CoV-2, Placental Histopathology, Gravity of Infection and Immunopathology: Is There an Association? Viruses 2022, 14, 1330. https://doi.org/10.3390/v14061330

AMA Style

Resta L, Vimercati A, Cazzato G, Fanelli M, Scarcella SV, Ingravallo G, Colagrande A, Sablone S, Stolfa M, Arezzo F, Lettini T, Rossi R. SARS-CoV-2, Placental Histopathology, Gravity of Infection and Immunopathology: Is There an Association? Viruses. 2022; 14(6):1330. https://doi.org/10.3390/v14061330

Chicago/Turabian Style

Resta, Leonardo, Antonella Vimercati, Gerardo Cazzato, Margherita Fanelli, Sara V. Scarcella, Giuseppe Ingravallo, Anna Colagrande, Sara Sablone, Mary Stolfa, Francesca Arezzo, Teresa Lettini, and Roberta Rossi. 2022. "SARS-CoV-2, Placental Histopathology, Gravity of Infection and Immunopathology: Is There an Association?" Viruses 14, no. 6: 1330. https://doi.org/10.3390/v14061330

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