Vertical transmission risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the third trimester: a systematic scoping review

Bottom Line:

Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can be passed from mom to baby during the third trimester. More studies are needed to understand how to manage babies born to mothers with a COVID-19 infection.

Reference:

Thomas, P. et al. Vertical transmission risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the third trimester: a systematic scoping review. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine (2020).  https://doi.org/10.1080/14767058.2020.1786055

Date Published:

1 July 2020

Synopsis:

This review looked at 18 research studies consisting of 157 mothers and 160 newborns to determine the impact of a COVID-19 infection on mother and baby. The average age of mothers was 30.8 years old. 151 mothers tested positive for the COVID-19 infection and the rest were highly suspected cases displaying typical COVID-19 symptoms. It is well known that pregnant women are highly susceptible to respiratory infections because of their low immune status, which makes them vulnerable to the COVID-19 infection. For instance, during the SARS pandemic the death rate among pregnant women was 25% and it was 10% for all other adults. The current guidelines suggest that babies born to COVID-19 positive mothers should be tested at 24 hours after delivery and again at 48 hours. This review also looked at studies that tested the amniotic fluid, cord blood, placenta, breast milk and newborn’s throat for the COVID-19 infection. The studies demonstrated that evidence of the infection was not found in any of these samples except for in five newborns. Since all these mothers were in the third trimester, these results may not apply to mothers earlier in their pregnancy but currently there is no evidence to suggest that the virus can pass from mother to newborn during the last three months of the pregnancy.

Summary by: Brintha Sivajohan