SARS-2 COVID-19-induced immunity response, a new prognostic marker for the pregnant population correlates inversely with neonatal Apgar score

M. Marwah, H. Shokr, A. Demitry, K. Wang, S. Ahmad, S. Marwah, F. Wandroo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The COVID-19 infection has impacted pregnancy outcomes; however, few studies have assessed the association between haematological parameters and virus-related pregnancy and neonatal outcomes. We hypothesised differences in routine haematology indices in pregnant and non-pregnant COVID-19 patients as well as COVID-19-negative pregnant subjects and observed neonatal outcomes in all pregnant populations. Further, we tested if pattern identification in the COVID-19 pregnant population would facilitate prediction of neonates with a poor Apgar score. Methods: We tested our hypothesis in 327 patients (111 COVID-19-positive pregnant females, 169 COVID-19-negative pregnant females and 47 COVID-19-positive non-pregnant females) in whom standard routine laboratory indices were collected on admission. Results: Pregnant COVID-19-positive patients exhibited higher WBC, neutrophil, monocyte counts as well as neutrophil/lymphocyte and neutrophil/eosinophil ratio compared to non-pregnant COVID-19-positive patients (p = 0.00001, p = 0.0023, p = 0.00002, p = 0.0402, p = 0.0161, p = 0.0352, respectively). Preterm delivery was more prevalent in COVID-19-positive pregnant patients accompanied with a significantly lower birth weight (2894.37 (± 67.50) g compared with 3194.16 (± 50.61) g, p = 0.02) in COVID-19-negative pregnant patients. The COVID-19-Induced Immunity Response (CIIR) was defined as (WBC × neutrophil) / eosinophil; Apgar scores were significantly and inversely correlated with the CIIR index (r =—0.162). Interpretation: Pregnancy appears to give rise to an increased immune response to COVID-19 which appears to protect the mother, however may give rise to complications during labour as well as neonatal concerns. CIIR is a simple metric that predicts neonatal distress to aid clinicians in determining the prognosis of COVID-19 and help provide early intensive intervention to reduce complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1121-1129
Issue number5
Early online date5 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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© 2022, Crown. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit


  • Biomarkers
  • COVID-19
  • Perinatal health
  • Pregnancy


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