Evidence and possible mechanisms of rare maternal-fetal transmission of SARS-CoV-2

J Clin Virol. 2020 Jul;128:104447. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2020.104447. Epub 2020 May 18.


While SARS-CoV-2 infection has spread rapidly worldwide, data remains scarce about the natural history of infection in pregnant women and the risk of mother-to-fetal transmission. Current data indicates that viral RNA levels in maternal blood are low and there is no evidence of placental infection with SARS-CoV-2. Published reports to date suggest that perinatal transmission of SARSCoV- 2 can occur but is rare. Among 179 newborns tested for SARS-CoV2 at birth from mothers with COVID-19, transmission was suspected in 8 cases, 5 with positive nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and 3 with SARS-CoV-2 IgM. However, these cases arise from maternal infection close to childbirth and there are no information about exposition during first or second trimester of pregnancy. Welldesigned prospective cohort studies with rigorous judgement criteria are needed to determine the incidence and risk factors for perinatal transmission of SARS-CoV-2.