Keywords : ,،,؛neonate,,

Intrauterine vertical transmission of COVID-19 during pregnancy: A systematic review

Jasim Al Asadi; Sadiq M Mousa

The Medical Journal of Basrah University, 2021, Volume 39, Issue 1, Pages 7-20
DOI: 10.33762/mjbu.2021.128851.1045

Background: COVID-19 infection in pregnancy raised concerns about the risk of intrauterine vertical transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 from mother to fetus.
Objectives: to review the current evidence on the possibility of intrauterine vertical transmission potential among COVID-19 infected pregnant mothers.
Methods: Eligible studies published from December 2019 until August 1, 2020, were searched for from PubMed, PubMed Central, Google scholar, medRxiv, and bioRxiv collection databases using MeSH-compliant keywords including COVID-19, pregnancy, intrauterine vertical transmission, Coronavirus 2019, SARS-CoV-2, 2019-nCoV, and maternal-fetal transmission.
Results: The initial search yielded 152 articles. After elimination of duplicates, review, commentaries, and articles from media, 78 articles were deemed relevant and comprised neonatal outcome data for 1231 neonates whose mothers were infected with COVID-19. Of these 78 articles, 24 articles that fulfilled the inclusion criteria were eventually selected for analysis yielding 517 neonates from 514 pregnancies (3 sets of twins). Most of the women (64.4%) were delivered by cesarean section. Vaginal delivery was reported in 31.7%, and in 20 women (3.9%), the mode of delivery was not reported. Of the total 517 neonates reported in the 24 analyzed articles, 51 neonates (9.9%; 95% CI, 7.4-12.8) were tested by positive by at least one of the investigation tools, and 38 neonates (7.3%; 95% CI, 5.3-9.9) were found positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR nasopharyngeal swab.
Conclusions: The risk of intrauterine vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in late pregnancy is possible but rare. However, the potential risk of vertical transmission in early pregnancy is not yet assessed.