The global severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on all aspects of daily life and healthcare. Information on the infection risks for pregnant women and their offspring have so far been limited to small case series, until a large UK report on 427 SARS- CoV-2 infected pregnant women was published. Previous SARS epidemic experiences were drawn upon. Diagnostic use of real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and IgG and IgM antibody tests are fraught with concerns of non-validation and false negative results, as are sampling methodologies. Virtually no information on controls accompany these reports. Infection of the mother and baby has serious implications for obstetric and neonatal care. Information on early and late stage pregnancy infection and the relationship to severity of infection on fetal development is both useful and clearly warranted. An increasing number of reports centre around mildly infected women showing no evidence of fetal infection while a few reports suggesting vertical transmission require further validation. Vertical transmission from mother to baby however small would have profound health implications for obstetric and neonatal care and fetal abnormalities. Some data suggesting intrapartum vertical transmission from mother to baby cannot be dismissed given the lack of controls and limitations of diagnostic viral tests. This analysis covers some key early reports addressing pregnancy outcomes follow- ing SARS-CoV-2 infection.


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Bahadur, G., Homburg, R., Yoong, W., Singh, C., Kotabagi, P., Bhhat, M., Acharya, S., Huirne, J., Pablo, P., Łukaszuk, M. & Muneer, A. 2020, 'Adverse outcomes in SAR-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and SARS virus related pregnancies with probable vertical transmission', JBRA Assisted Reproduction, 24(3), pp. 351-357. http://dx.doi.org/10.5935/1518-0557.20200057

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Last updated: 17 June 2022
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