Clinical Characteristics, Transmission Rate and Outcome of Neonates Born to COVID-19-Positive Mothers: A Prospective Case Series from a Resource-Limited Setting

Marloes Rood*, Lisa Ten Kate, Navin P. Boeddha, Kevin Van 'T Kruys

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection during pregnancy could damage the placenta, but data on neonates born to COVID-19-positive mothers is scarce. In this case series, we aim to describe clinical characteristics, transmission rate and outcomes at 3 months of age among neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 diagnosed near the time of delivery.

Methods: Prospective, multicenter case series from Suriname. We collected clinical data of neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 infection between June and August 2021. COVID-19 swabs were taken within 5 days and 2 weeks after birth. Follow-up took place at 3 months.

Results: We enrolled 18 neonates. However, 18/18 (100%) mothers were infected in the third trimester and 10/18 (55.6%) had severe COVID-19 infection requiring ICU admission and 2/10 (20%) died. In total 16/18 (77.8%) neonates were born after cesarean section and 13/18 (72.2%) were born preterm (median 35 weeks, Interquartile range 32 + 4-38 + 0). Neonatal intensive care unit admission was needed in 7/18 (38.9%) neonates. Respiratory symptoms occurred in 12/18 (66.7%), 5/18 (27.8%) were suspected of early-onset sepsis and 1/18(5.6%) of late-onset sepsis. One preterm neonate developed necrotizing enterocolitis. A nasopharyngeal swab was positive in 1/18 (5.5%) neonates within 5 days of life and in 0/11 (0%) neonates after 2 weeks. Follow-up showed mild neurodevelopmental delay in 2/14 (14.3%) patients.

Conclusion: We describe a high proportion of severely ill mothers due to COVID-19 infection with subsequent cesarean delivery and prematurity. Accounting for gestational age at birth, the neonatal clinical course and findings at follow-up appeared similar to neonates born to COVID-19-negative mothers. Maternal vaccination is recommended to prevent neonatal risks associated with prematurity and cesarean delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2023 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.

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