Detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in placental and fetal membrane samples

      Since the first reports of the emergence of the novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 [SARS-CoV-2]) and its associated disease (coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]), concerns remain about whether the virus can be transmitted from the mother to the fetus either during the antepartum period or during the process of labor and delivery. In a previous review involving a small number of cases, 2 placental swabs for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing were sent in addition to neonatal and cord blood testing, and the PCR results of the swabs returned negative.
      • Schwartz D.A.
      An analysis of 38 pregnant women with COVID-19, their newborn infants, and maternal-fetal transmission of SARS-CoV-2: maternal coronavirus infections and pregnancy outcomes.
      Other studies have reported findings of SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin M in neonates born to mothers who received a diagnosis of COVID-19 during pregnancy,
      • Zeng H.
      • Xu C.
      • Fan J.
      • et al.
      Antibodies in infants born to mothers with COVID-19 pneumonia.
      ,
      • Dong L.
      • Tian J.
      • He S.
      • et al.
      Possible vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from an infected mother to her newborn.
      findings that may indicate vertical transmission of the virus in utero. In this study, PCR assays were performed to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in placental and membrane samples. Samples were obtained after delivery from a series women who received a diagnosis of COVID-19 during pregnancy.
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