Cryopreservation in reproductive medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic: rethinking policies and European safety regulations / A. Alteri, V. Pisaturo, E. Somigliana, P. Viganò. - In: HUMAN REPRODUCTION. - ISSN 0268-1161. - 35:12(2020 Dec 01), pp. 2650-2657. [10.1093/humrep/deaa210]

Cryopreservation in reproductive medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic: rethinking policies and European safety regulations

E. Somigliana;

Cryopreservation of reproductive cells and tissues represents an essential aspect of ART practices that might be particularly strategic and helpful during severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emergency. However, recommendations on how and when to preserve reproductive tissues and cells during a novel severe pandemic are scanty. This article uses a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis to identify favourable and unfavourable factors and to recognize challenges and obstacles related to the use of cryopreservation procedures during the spreading of a new virus. One of the strengths associated with the cryopreservation is represented by the availability of robust European guidelines on storage safety to prevent sample contamination or cross-contamination by pathogens. These recommendations should be deep-rooted in all ART laboratories. Weaknesses include uncertainties regarding the management of COVID-19 affected asymptomatic patients, the suboptimal accuracy of diagnostic tests for the disease, the nebulous prospective regarding the duration of the pandemic and the additional costs. The application of the strategy represents an opportunity to postpone pregnancy in order to avoid a severe infectious disease during gestation while concomitantly counteracting the possible detrimental effect of time. Critical threats, at present still undefined, are represented by potential adverse events for the mother and offspring due to infected gametes or embryos after thawing and, subsequently, the re-spreading of the virus.
ART; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; SWOT analysis; cryopreservation; risk assessment
Settore MED/40 - Ginecologia e Ostetricia
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