Vertical transmission risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the third trimester: a systematic scoping review
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Background: Studies on COVID-19 infection in pregnancy thus far have largely focused on characterizing maternal and neonatal clinical characteristics. However, another evolving focus is assessing and mitigating the risk of vertical transmission amongst COVID-19-positive mothers. The objective of this review was to summarize the current evidence on the vertical transmission potential of COVID-19 infection in the third trimester and its effects on the neonate.Methods: OVID MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trial (CENTRAL) were searched from January 2020 to May 2020, with continuous surveillance.Results: 18 studies met the inclusion criteria, consisting of 157 mothers and 160 neonates. The mean age of the pregnant patients was 30.8 years and the mean gestational period was 37 weeks and 1 d. Currently, there is currently no conclusive evidence to suggest that vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 occurs. Amongst 81 (69%) neonates who were tested for SARS-CoV-2, 5 (6%) had a positive result. However, amongst these 5 neonates, the earliest test was performed at 16 h after birth, and only 1 neonate was positive when they were later re-tested. However, this neonate initially tested negative at birth, suggesting that the SARS-CoV-2 infection was likely hospital-acquired rather than vertically transmitted. 13 (8%) neonates had complications or symptoms.Conclusions: The findings of this rapid descriptive review based on early clinical evidence suggest that vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from mother to neonate/newborn did not occur. Future studies are needed to determine the optimal management of neonates born to COVID-19-positive mothers.
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