Clinical course, radiological findings and late outcome in preterm infant with suspected vertical transmission born to a mother with severe COVID-19 pneumonia: a case report

J Med Case Rep. 2021 Apr 23;15(1):213. doi: 10.1186/s13256-021-02835-0.


Background: Vertical transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from mother to newborn infant is doubtful, and very little is known about disease severity and neonatal outcome.

Case presentation: We present a preterm Iranian infant born to a Persian mother with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. The mother underwent cesarean delivery, and amniotic fluid yielded a positive result for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The newborn infant showed early-onset infection with SARS-CoV-2 confirmed on pharyngeal swabs by RT-PCR assay within 24 hours after birth, suggesting vertical transmission. Unfortunately, the mother died 14 days after delivery. We describe the clinical course and outcome of the infant up to 7 months of age.

Conclusion: COVID-19 infection in pregnant women may increase maternal morbidity, mortality and possibly vertical transmission in severe cases. However, it does not seem to progress to serious early or late neonatal complications.

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

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Amniotic Fluid / virology
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis*
  • COVID-19 / pathology
  • Cesarean Section
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical*
  • Iran
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / virology
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Premature Birth*
  • Resuscitation
  • Young Adult