Vertical Transmission of Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) from Infected Pregnant Mothers to Neonates: A Review

Fetal Pediatr Pathol. 2020 Jun;39(3):246-250. doi: 10.1080/15513815.2020.1747120. Epub 2020 Apr 2.


Background: Since early December 2019, the Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) infection has been prevalent in China and eventually spread to other countries. There are a few published cases of COVID-19 occurring during pregnancy and due the possibility of mother-fetal vertical transmission, there is a concern that the fetuses may be at risk of congenital COVID-19. Methods: We reviewed the risk of vertical transmission of COVID-19 to the fetus of infected mothers by using data of published articles or official websites up to March 4, 2020. Results: A total of 31 infected pregnant mothers with COVID-19 were reported. No COVID-19 infection was detected in their neonates or placentas. Two mothers died from COVID-19-related respiratory complications after delivery. Conclusions: Currently, based on limited data, there is no evidence for intrauterine transmission of COVID-19 from infected pregnant women to their fetuses. Mothers may be at increased risk for more severe respiratory complications.

Keywords: COVID-19; Corona Virus; neonate; placenta; pregnant mothers; vertical transmission.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Canada
  • China / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications*
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission*
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical*
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Maternal Mortality
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious*
  • Respiration Disorders / complications
  • Risk
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • United States