International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Surveillance and Research Newsletter - July 2020

The following ICBDSR newsletter is shared with BDRP members for their information. ICBDSR coordinates World Birth Defects Day of which BDRP is an active partner organization.



Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 47th ICBDSR Annual Meeting has been postponed to October 2021. The final dates will be released as soon as possible. The meeting venue remains the Relais Bellaria Hotel & Congressi in Bologna (Italy). Updates on the annual meeting will be posted to the ICBDSR website.



COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation:

World Health Organization (WHO) - [EPI-WIN Webinar Series] Current topics in Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) in the context of COVID-19

On May 6, 2020, WHO outlined criteria for countries considering re-opening social and business activities in the context of COVID-19.  We are now seeing the effect of reopening with varying degrees of adherence to those criteria.  WHO headquarters is hosting a series of webinars focusing on RCCE tactics to assist countries in developing RCCE plans, activities, and messaging to support successful re-opening. The series is designed for WHO regional and country office staff who are designing and implementing COVID-19 RCCE strategies and interventions, Ministry of Health counterparts, and other communication partners.

Webinar 1: Managing Uncertainty through RCCE and Coordination, was held on Wednesday July 8, 2020

Subsequent webinars in the series:

  • July 22 [time TBD]: Influencing Risk Perception though RCCE

Helping individuals and communities to understand their COVID-19 risks is crucial to successful transition to new stages of COVID-19 response.  This webinar will consider messaging strategies that address populations at different risk levels and perceptions of their vulnerability.

  • August 5 [time TBD]: Creating New Norms and Sustaining Behavior Change

Until a vaccine is available, COVID-19 is likely to be circulating somewhere in the world. New norms and behaviors will need to be sustained longer term.  This webinar will identify elements of behavior change communication that can be adapted to RCCE to support the “new normal.”

Further information at


World Birth Defects Day – WBDD, March 3

Thanks to all the participants in the WBDD on March 3, 2020 and to the WBDD Partners who organized an event/activity to observe the Day. Please, share with us your activity by email at

Join the WBDD as a Partner Organization

by completing the online application form on the WBDD website

Follow @worldbdday on Twitter

Instagram worldbdday

Join WBDD page on Facebook

Visit WBDD website


What’s Going on Regarding Birth Defects: initiatives and announcements

All readers are kindly invited to contribute to this section of the Newsletter, sending their suggestions

to by the 1st Friday of the month.


The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) is pleased to announce its 'Call for Applications' for the ‘eCourse in Clinical Research Methods (eLearning)’, for academic session September 2020 - January 2021.The aim of this course is to provide participants with a multi-disciplinary perspective to facilitate their skills in health research. The course is designed as a four-month eCourse. It is a computer¬ based online course, largely self-taught, complemented with online lectures and comprehensive printed study materials.

The course is being offered to professionals including Medical postgraduate (MD/MS) students, Diplomate of National Board (DNB) students, junior to mid-career researchers, and PhD scholars in health and other closely-related disciplines, Public Health personnel, senior residents, faculty/clinicians from medical and other health sciences (dental, physiotherapy, nursing, AYUSH professionals, pharmacy, etc.) colleges/institutes, researchers from  pharmaceutical industries, clinical research organizations, health and hospital establishments, and professionals with non-clinical backgrounds with an interest in professional capacity development in research design and analysis.

To submit the online applications and to download the course brochure, visit PHFI Centre for eLearning: and apply. The brochure is also available on PHFI website

Please, send any queries and concerns at

Last date for submission of online application is August 31, 2020. Program shall commence by September 21, 2020.


News from the ICBDSR Executive Committee

Becoming an affiliate member of ICBDSR

Individuals, Organizations, or Institutions may apply to become affiliates. Affiliates may collaborate with Clearinghouse members, participate in projects, and attend the ICBDSR Annual Meeting. Candidates for affiliates may include people or teams who are interested to develop a surveillance and prevention program, or are beginning to do so but do not yet meet membership criteria, as well as graduates from the Training Program in Surveillance and Prevention; professionals, advocates, and organizations with a strong interested and commitment to surveillance and prevention.

Requirements to become an affiliate member:

Online Self-Paced Course on Birth Defect Surveillance and Prevention

The online course remains available for interested professionals. The course has been developed by the International Centre on Birth Defects (ICBD Centre) and supported, in part, by funding from the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through Agreement 2016-2017 with the Task Force for Global Health. The course is designed for clinicians, epidemiologists, public health professionals, and anyone interested in understanding birth defects and improving their prevention and care. The course includes videos, quizzes, a discussion forum, and publications/resources. It is available in English and Spanish. To date, 329 trainees from 57 countries have joined the online course. Additional information is available at

The registration form is available at Once registered, you will receive an email with guidance on how to register by yourself in the course platform and how to self-enroll in the self-paced course in either English or Spanish.


What’s Going on Regarding Birth Defects: A Selection from the Recent Literature

All readers are kindly invited to contribute to this section of the Newsletter, sending their suggestions

to by the 1st Friday of the month.

Ailes EC, Zimmerman J, Lind JN, Fan F, Shi K, Reefhuis J, Broussard CS, Frey MT, Cragan JD, Petersen EE, Polen KD, Honein MA, Gilboa SM. Using Supervised Learning Methods to Develop a List of Prescription Medications of Greatest Concern during Pregnancy.  Matern Child Health J. 2020 Jul;24(7):901-910. doi: 10.1007/s10995-020-02942-2. PMID: 32372243

Alfieri N, Manodoro S, Marconi AM. COVID-19 does not stop obstetrics: what we need to change to go on safely birthing. The experience of a University Obstetrics and Gynecology Department in Milan. J Perinat Med. 2020 Jul7:/j/jpme.ahead-of-print/jpm-2020-0218/jpm-2020-0218.xml. doi:10.1515/jpm-2020-0218. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32628638.

Anikwe CC, Ogah CO, Anikwe IH, Okorochukwu BC, Ikeoha CC. Coronavirus disease 2019: Knowledge, attitude, and practice of pregnant women in a tertiary hospital in Abakaliki, southeast Nigeria. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2020 Jul 1.doi: 10.1002/ijgo.13293. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32608513.

Bidondo MP, Groisman B, Duarte S, Tardivo A, Liascovich R, Barbero P. Prenatal detection of congenital anomalies and related factors in Argentina.J Community Genet. 2020 Jul;11(3):313-320. doi: 10.1007/s12687-019-00451-6. Epub 2020 Jan 3. PMID: 31900752 Free PMC article.

Bresesti I, Rossi L. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Pregnancy: Responding to a Rapidly Evolving Situation.Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Jul;136(1):193.doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003965. PMID: 32590705.

Bronberg R, Groisman B, Bidondo MP, Barbero P, Liascovich R. Birth prevalence of congenital anomalies in the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina, according to socioeconomic level. J Community Genet. 2020 Jul;11(3):303-311. doi: 10.1007/s12687-019-00449-0. Epub 2020 Jan 3. PMID: 31900751

Castro P, Matos AP, Werner H, Lopes FP, Tonni G, Araujo Júnior E. Covid19 and Pregnancy: An Overview. Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet. 2020 Jun 19. English. doi:10.1055/s-0040-1713408. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32559801.

Chen L, Jiang H, Zhao Y. Pregnancy with Covid-19: Management considerations for care of severe and critically ill cases. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2020 Jul4:e13299. doi: 10.1111/aji.13299. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32623810.

Cheng SO, Khan S, Alsafi Z. Maternal death in pregnancy due to COVID-19. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Jul;56(1):122. doi: 10.1002/uog.22111. PMID:32608570.

Dashraath P, Wong JJL, Su LL, See KC, Fisher D. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Pregnancy: Responding to a Rapidly Evolving Situation. ObstetGynecol. 2020 Jul;136(1):191-192. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003963. PMID:32590703.

de Souza S, Nampo FK, PestanaCR. Major birth defects in the Brazilian side of the triple border: a population-based cross-sectional study. Arch Public Health. 2020 Jun 30;78:61. doi: 10.1186/s13690-020-00443-w. eCollection 2020. PMID: 32617160

de Sousa IBA, Souza C, Dos Santos Barbosa M, Croda JHR, Maymone Gonçalves CC, Bernardes SS, Marchioro SB. Gestational outcomes in women infected by Zika virus during pregnancy in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil: cross-sectional study. Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Jun 30:S1201-9712(20)30518-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.06.084. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32619757

Ellington S, Strid P, Tong VT, Woodworth K, Galang RR, Zambrano LD,Nahabedian J, Anderson K, Gilboa SM. Characteristics of Women of Reproductive Age with Laboratory-Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Infection by Pregnancy Status – United States, January 22-June 7, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Jun26;69(25):769-775. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6925a1. PMID: 32584795; PMCID:PMC7316319.

González R, García-Otero L, Pons-Duran C, Marbán-Castro E, Goncé A, Llurba E, Del Mar Gil M, Rodríguez-Zambrano MÁ, Chen H, Ramírez M, Bardají A, Menendez C. Hydroxychloroquine efficacy and safety in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease severity during pregnancy (COVID-Preg): a structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised placebo controlled trial. Version 2. Trials.2020 Jul 2;21(1):607. doi: 10.1186/s13063-020-04557-y. PMID: 32616063; PMCID:PMC7330539.

Hasnain M, Pasha MF, Ghani I, Budiarto R. Protection Challenges of Pregnant Women against Vertical Transmission during COVID-19 Epidemic: A Narrative Review. Am J Infect Control. 2020 Jul 1:S0196-6553(20)30365-5. doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2020.06.206. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32621859; PMCID:PMC7328570.

Ishikawa T, Obara T, Jin K, Nishigori H, Miyakoda K, Akazawa M, Nakasato N, Yaegashi N, Kuriyama S, Mano N. Folic acid prescribed to prenatal and postpartum women who are also prescribed antiepileptic drugs in Japan: Data from a health administrative database. Birth Defects Res. 2020 Jul 2. doi: 10.1002/bdr2.1748. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32613756

Jadresić L, Au H, Woodhouse C, Nitsch D. Pre-pregnancy obesity and risk of congenital abnormalities of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) - systematic review, meta-analysis and ecological study.  Pediatr Nephrol. 2020 Jun 28. doi: 10.1007/s00467-020-04679-0. Online ahead of print.

Lalzad A, Wong FY, Singh N, Coombs P, Brockley C, Brennan S, Ditchfield M, Rao P, Watkins A, Saxton V, Schneider M. Surveillance Practice for Sonographic Detection of Intracranial Abnormalities in Premature Neonates: A Snapshot of Current Neonatal Cranial Ultrasound Practice in Australia. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2020 Jun 29:S0301-5629(20)30255-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2020.06.002. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32616429

Marim F, Karadogan D, Eyuboglu TS, Emiralioglu N, Gurkan CG, Toreyin ZN,Akyil FT, Yuksel A, Arikan H, Serifoglu I, Gursoy TR, Sandal A, Akgun M. Lessons Learned so Far from the Pandemic: A Review on Pregnants and Neonates with COVID-19. Eurasian J Med. 2020 Jun;52(2):202-210. doi:10.5152/ Eurasian jmed.2020.20118. PMID: 32612432; PMCID: PMC7311134

Marshall J, Scott B, Delva J, Ade C, Hernandez S, Patel J, Moreno-Cheek M,Rojas D, Tanner JP, Kirby RS. An Evaluation of Florida's Zika Response Using the WHO Health Systems Framework: Can We Apply These Lessons to COVID-19? MaternChild Health J. 2020 Jun 25:1–12. doi: 10.1007/s10995-020-02969-5. Epub ahead ofprint. PMID: 32583172; PMCID: PMC7314660.

Matar R, Alrahmani L, Monzer N, Debiane LG, Berbari E, Fares J, Fitzpatrick F, Murad MH. Clinical Presentation and Outcomes of Pregnant Women with COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jun 23:ciaa828.doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa828. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32575114.

Naqvi M, Zakowski P, Glucksman L, Smithson S, Burwick RM. Tocilizumab and Remdesivir in a Pregnant Patient With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Jun 30. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004050. Epub ahead ofprint. PMID: 32618794.

Okunade KS, Makwe CC, Akinajo OR, Owie E, Ohazurike EO, Babah OA, OkunowoAA, Omisakin SI, Oluwole AA, Olamijulo JA, Adegbola O, Anorlu RI, Afolabi BB. Good clinical practice advice for the management of pregnant women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in Nigeria. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2020 Jun 18.doi: 10.1002/ijgo.13278. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32557562.

Pacheco O, Newton SM, Daza M, Cates JE, Reales JAM, Burkel VK, Mercado M, Godfred-Cato S, Gonzalez M, Anderson KN, Woodworth KR, Valencia D, Tong VT, Gilboa SM, Osorio MB, Rodríguez DYS, Prieto-Alvarado FE, Moore CA, Honein MA, Ospina Martínez ML Neurodevelopmental findings in children 20-30 months of age with postnatal Zika infection at 1-12 months of age, Colombia, September-November 2017. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2020 Jun 2. doi: 10.1111/ppe.12690. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32488915 

Phoswa WN, Khaliq OP. Is pregnancy a risk factor of COVID-19? Eur J ObstetGynecolReprod Biol. 2020 Jun 27:S0301-2115 (20)30433-4. doi:10.1016/ j.ejogrb.2020.06.058. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32620513; PMCID: PMC7320674.

Rasmussen SA, Hamosh A; OMIM curators.What's in a name? Issues to consider when naming Mendelian disorders. Genet Med. 2020 Jun 18. doi: 10.1038/s41436-020-0851-0. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32555417

Schrager NL, Adrien N, Werler MM, Parker SE, Van Bennekom C, Mitchell AA; National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Trends in first-trimester nausea and vomiting of pregnancy and use of select treatments: Findings from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2020 Jul 4. doi: 10.1111/ppe.12705. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32623767

Sentilhes L, De Marcillac F, Jouffrieau C, Kuhn P, Thuet V, Hansmann Y, RuchY, Fafi-Kremer S, Deruelle P. COVID-19 in pregnancy was associated with maternal morbidity and preterm birth. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Jun15:S0002-9378(20)30639-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2020.06.022. Epub ahead of print.PMID: 32553908; PMCID: PMC7294260.

Thomas P, Alexander PE, Ahmed U, Elderhorst E, El-Khechen H, Mammen MJ,Debono VB, Aponte Torres Z, Aryal K, Brocard E, Sagastuy B, Alhazzani W. Vertical transmission risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the third trimester: asystematic scoping review. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2020 Jul 1:1-8. doi:10.1080/14767058.2020.1786055. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32611247.

Trippella G, Ciarcià M, Ferrari M, Buzzatti C, Maccora I, Azzari C, Dani C,Galli L, Chiappini E. COVID-19 in Pregnant Women and Neonates: A SystematicReview of the Literature with Quality Assessment of the Studies. Pathogens. 2020Jun 18;9(6):E485. doi: 10.3390/pathogens9060485. PMID: 32570959.


Meetings and Conferences

EUROCAT Registry Leader Meeting and 15thEuropean Symposium on Congenital Anomalies Considering the development of the pandemic in Europe, after thoughtful deliberations, a decision was made to postpone the EUROCAT Scientific Symposium scheduled to take place on July 2, 2020 in Valencia, Spain. Information about a new date will be available as soon as possible. For questions, please contact:

World Congress of Epidemiology WCE 2020 onMethodological Innovations in Epidemiology”, September 13-16,2020, Melbourne, Australia has been postponed until 2021.

8thInternational Congress of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (ICGO-2020), November 11-13, 2020, Dubai, UAE








Recent Stories
Call for Nominations: F. Clarke Fraser New Investigator Award, Patricia Rodier Mid-Career Award, and Edward W. Carney Distinguished Service Award

Register Today for the Virtual Human Teratogens Course, November 2-4, 2021

Reminder: BDRP Officer Nomination Deadline Is October 15