Possibility of Vertical Transmission of COVID-19?A Narrative Review | Abstract

Journal of Research in Medical and Dental Science
eISSN No. 2347-2367 pISSN No. 2347-2545

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Possibility of Vertical Transmission of COVID-19?A Narrative Review

Author(s): Ayushi Shastri*, Sarika Dakhode, Trishla Jain and Vidhi Jain


COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease-2019) pandemic stopped the world altogether. Even though essential workers everywhere were busy combating the deadly virus, healthcare systems were overburdened and underprepared. The virus affected people with comorbidities, with lesser immunity and at the extremes of ages more. Neonates, being at that extreme of age are especially susceptible to diseases. Understanding the routes and rates of transmission of the COVID-19 virus will help us better prevent and treat it. This article aims to assess the vertical transmission of the said virus, based on currently published literature. Vertical transmission is the transfer of pathogens, immunoglobulin, molecules or drugs from the mother to the foetus or neonate. Although theoretically, vertical transmission can occur only through the amniotic fluid, umbilical cord and breast milk, proving it can be tricky since 100% aseptic conditions cannot be guaranteed. The most firm evidence of vertical transmission would be the confirmation of viral replication in the foetal lungs. Proving the occurrence of vertical transmission requires the evidence of either the pathogen itself, or a part of it, or the antibodies produced against it in the fluid from the amniotic cavity, umbilical cord blood and blood of the foetus/neonate. Most studies found negligible evidence of vertical transmission of COVID-19 virus. And those that did, could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt the existence of 100% aseptic conditions during testing, delivery and post-partum, meaning the virus could have been transmitted via other sources nosocomial or community acquired. Best precaution against vertical transmission of COVID-19 virus was ensuring maximum aseptic conditions during delivery and educating mothers and caregivers regarding prevention of spread of the virus.

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