Transplacental transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection

Nat Commun. 2020 Jul 14;11(1):3572. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-17436-6.

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 outbreak is the first pandemic of the century. SARS-CoV-2 infection is transmitted through droplets; other transmission routes are hypothesized but not confirmed. So far, it is unclear whether and how SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted from the mother to the fetus. We demonstrate the transplacental transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in a neonate born to a mother infected in the last trimester and presenting with neurological compromise. The transmission is confirmed by comprehensive virological and pathological investigations. In detail, SARS-CoV-2 causes: (1) maternal viremia, (2) placental infection demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and very high viral load; placental inflammation, as shown by histological examination and immunohistochemistry, and (3) neonatal viremia following placental infection. The neonate is studied clinically, through imaging, and followed up. The neonate presented with neurological manifestations, similar to those described in adult patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Coronavirus Infections / pathology
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical*
  • Male
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange / physiology
  • Mothers
  • Pandemics
  • Placenta / pathology
  • Placenta / virology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / diagnosis*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / pathology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / virology*
  • Vasculitis, Central Nervous System / virology*
  • Viral Load
  • Viremia / transmission
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2