CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · AJP Rep 2024; 14(01): e62-e65
DOI: 10.1055/s-0044-1779030
Case Report

Likely Vertical Transmission of Neonatal SARS CoV-2 Infection

Andre A. Robinson
1   Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mount Sinai West, New York, New York
Samantha Feder
2   Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York
Sushma Krishna
3   Department of Neonatology, Mount Sinai West, New York, New York
Lois Brustman
4   Department of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Mount Sinai West, New York, New York
› Author Affiliations


Maternal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection can affect placental function, but the possibility of intrauterine transmission has been debated. Several authors have published inclusion criteria for vertical transmission, but few reports exist that are able to meet the suggested requirements. Despite the fact that the majority of fetuses born to infected mothers do well, others become critically ill. We present a case of likely intrauterine transmission of a neonate born to a mother who was recently symptomatic with a positive SARS CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The parturient complained of decreased fetal movement and presented at 312/7 weeks' gestation with a biophysical profile score of 2/10 and required an emergency cesarean delivery. The neonate went on to develop severe leukopenia with signs of sepsis with a positive SARS CoV-2 PCR on day 4 of life and an otherwise pan-negative workup. Meeting criteria for transplacental transmission requires timely collection of several diagnostic studies that are not standard of care. Further research is needed to support the notion that intrauterine/transplacental infection is possible. Collection swabs should be obtained soon after delivery to help diagnose neonatal infection because early diagnosis is crucial to help identify opportunities for intervention.

Publication History

Received: 20 May 2020

Accepted: 22 October 2023

Article published online:
18 February 2024

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