Routine screening for SARS CoV-2 in unselected pregnant women at delivery

Pilar Díaz-Corvillón, Max Mönckeberg, Antonia Barros, Sebastián E. Illanes, Arturo Soldati, Jyh Kae Nien, Manuel Schepeler, Javier Caradeux

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7 Scopus citations


This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Background South America has become the epicenter of coronavirus pandemic. It seems that asymptomatic population may contribute importantly to the spread of the disease. Transmission from asymptomatic pregnant patients’ needs to be characterized in larger population cohorts and symptom assessment needs to be standardized. Objective To assess the prevalence of SARS CoV-2 infection in an unselected obstetrical population and to describe their presentation and clinical evolution. Methods A cross-sectional study was designed. Medical records of pregnant women admitted at the Obstetrics & Gynecology department of Clínica Dávila for labor & delivery, between April 27th and June 7th, 2020 were reviewed. All patients were screened with RT-PCR for SARS CoV-2 at admission. After delivery, positive cases were inquired by the researchers for clinical symptoms presented before admission and clinical evolution. All neonates born from mothers with confirmed SARS CoV-2 were isolated and tested for SARS CoV-2 infection. Results A total of 586 patients were tested for SARS CoV-2 during the study period. Outcomes were obtained from 583 patients which were included in the study. Thirty-seven pregnant women had a positive test for SARS CoV-2 at admission. Cumulative prevalence of confirmed SARS CoV-2 infection was 6.35% (37/583) [CI 95%: 4.63–8.65]. From confirmed cases, 43.2% (16/37) were asymptomatic. From symptomatic patients 85.7% (18/21) had mild symptoms and evolved without complications and 14.3% (3/21) presented severe symptoms requiring admission to intensive care unit. Only 5.4% (2/37) of the neonates born to mothers with a positive test at admission had a positive RT-PCR for SARS CoV-2. Conclusion In our study nearly half of pregnant patients with SARS CoV-2 were asymptomatic at the time of delivery. Universal screening, in endemic areas, is necessary for adequate patient isolation, prompt neonatal testing and targeted follow-up.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9 September
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020


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