Maternal and Cord Anti-SARS-CoV-2-Spike IgG following COVID-19 Vaccination versus Infection during Pregnancy: A Prospective Study, Israel October 2021-March 2022

Raneen Abu Shqara*, Maya Frank Wolf, Susana Mikhail Mustafa, Inshirah Sgayer, Tikva Assulyn, Abdallah Abu Zraki, Nadine Askhar Majadla, Hagai Rechnizter, Mona Shehadeh, Vered Fleisher Sheffer, Mor Bordeynik-Cohen, Orly Yakir, Lior Lowenstein, Eyal Sela, Michael Edelstein, Amiel A. Dror

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective  Defining how pregnant women respond to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and vaccination is critical to optimize vaccination strategies that protect mother and infant at the epidemic. This study aimed to compare anti-SARS-CoV-2-spike immunoglobulin G (IgG) of vaccinated versus infected women and to determine the optimal timing of maternal vaccination during pregnancy at the time of epidemic. Study Design  We collected maternal/cord blood at delivery (October 2021-March 2022) and measured anti-SARS-CoV-2-spike IgG geometric mean concentrations (IgG-GMCs) using a quantitative immunoassay. We compared groups according to timing and number of doses and correlated maternal and fetal IgG levels. We described the proportion of women with IgG levels above the 150 AU/mL positivity threshold according to the timing of infection/vaccination and performed a subanalysis for maternal IgG-GMC levels pre- and during the Omicron wave. Results  We included 238 vaccinated women, 125 who received two doses and 113 three doses, and 48 unvaccinated infected women. All groups infected/vaccinated in the second or third trimester had an IgG-GMC above the positivity threshold. Third-trimester vaccination (second/third dose) resulted in higher maternal and cord-blood IgG-GMC compared to the second trimester (maternal-IgG: 102,32 vs. 4,325 AU/mL, p < 0.001; cord-IgG: 12,113 vs. 8,112 AU/mL, p < 0.001). Compared with infected-only women, a higher proportion of vaccinated women with ≥2 doses and their newborns had IgG levels above the positivity threshold at all time points. In vaccinated women, there were higher maternal IgG-GMC levels during the Omicron wave than pre-Omicron. Conclusion  At the time of epidemic, receiving an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose in the third trimester resulted in a higher IgG-GMC compared to the second trimester. Relatively higher levels of maternal and cord IgG-GMC were achieved following vaccination than infection. Women infected during or before the first trimester might benefit from an additional third-trimester dose to prevent peripartum infection and to passively immunize their newborn. The higher levels of maternal IgG-GMC in the Omicron period are suggestive of hybrid immunity. Key Points Higher maternal anti-SARS-IgGs in vaccinated → infected. Higher cord anti-SARS-IgGs in vaccinated → infected. Third-trimester vaccine resulted in high-cord IgG levels.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike IgG
  • pregnancy
  • vaccine


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