COVID-19 is a fatal respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus that quickly became a pandemic. Pregnant women and neonates are two vulnerable groups in COVID-19 infections because the immune system weakens during pregnancy. The present review study was conducted to investigate the rate of vertical transmission in infants born to women with COVID-19 infections and to describe the characteristics of the affected infants. We conducted a search of the various scientific databases using relevant keywords. All English-language studies involving neonates born to women who had COVID-19 infections were included. The main outcomes were rates of vertical transmission and the characteristics of the affected newborns. Out of 13 selected studies, 103 newborns were involved. The rate of vertical transmission was 5.4%. Of the five infected newborns, four were full-term and one was preterm. All were born by Cesarean section. The clinical symptoms were vomiting, fever, lethargy, shortness of breath, and cyanosis. In four newborns, a chest x-ray showed evidence of pneumonia. The most common laboratory finding was leukocytosis and elevated creatine kinase levels. One newborn needed mechanical ventilation. All newborns recovered and were discharged. The findings of this review study showed that the prognosis of newborns of infected mothers was satisfactory, and clinical symptoms of infected neonates did not differ from adults and were nonspecific. Due to the low amount of data regarding this field, further studies with higher sample sizes are required for more definitive conclusions.
Keywords: COVID-19; Newborn; Novel coronavirus infection; Vertical transmission.