Unlikely SARS-CoV-2 vertical transmission from mother to child: A case report

J Infect Public Health. 2020 May;13(5):818-820. doi: 10.1016/j.jiph.2020.04.004. Epub 2020 Apr 11.


As the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) rapidly spread across China and to more than 70 countries, an increasing number of pregnant women were affected. The vertical transmission potential of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is of great concern to the obstetrics, neonatologists, and public health agencies. Though some studies indicated the risk of vertical transmission is low, few cases have been reported with comprehensive serial tests from multiple specimens. In this case, a female preterm infant was born to a mother with confirmed COVID-19. She presented with mild respiratory distress and received general management and a short period of nasal continuous positive airway pressure support. During her stay at the hospital, a series of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic test from her throat and anal swab, serum, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and urine were negative. The nucleic acid test from the mother's amniotic fluid, vaginal secretions, cord blood, placenta, serum, anal swab, and breast milk were also negative. The most comprehensively tested case reported to date confirmed that the vertical transmission of COVID is unlikely, but still, more evidence is needed.

Keywords: COVID-19; Neonate; SARS-CoV-2; Vertical transmission.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / virology*
  • SARS-CoV-2