Objective To summarise currently reported neonatal cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Methods A search strategy was designed to retrieve all articles published from 1 December 2019 to 12 May 2020, by combining the terms ‘coronavirus’ OR ‘covid’ OR ‘SARS-CoV-2’) AND (‘neonat*’ OR ‘newborn’) in the following electronic databases: MEDLINE/Pubmed, Scopus, Web of Science, MedRxiv, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Review and the WHO COVID-19 database, with no language restrictions. Quality of studies was evaluated by using a specific tool for assessment of case reports and/or case series.
Results Twenty-six observational studies (18 case reports and 8 case series) with 44 newborns with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were included in the final analysis. Studies were mainly from China and Italy. Half of neonates had a documented contact with the infected mother and one out of three infected neonates was admitted from home. Median age at diagnosis was 5 days. One out of four neonates was asymptomatic, and the remaining showed mild symptoms typical of acute respiratory infections and/or gastrointestinal symptoms. The majority of neonates were left in spontaneous breathing (room air) and had good prognosis after a median duration of hospitalisation of 10 days.
Conclusions Most neonates with SARS-CoV-2 infection were asymptomatic or presented mild symptoms, generally were left in spontaneous breathing and had a good prognosis after median 10 days of hospitalisation. Large epidemiological and clinical cohort studies, as well as the implementation of collaborative networks, are needed to improve the understanding of the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection in neonates.
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DT and FC contributed equally.
Contributors DT conceived and designed the study, contributed to draft the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted. FC analysed the data, contributed to draft the manuscript and interpret the results and approved the final manuscript as submitted. MEC reviewed search results and screened titles/abstracts, extracted key data from the included studies, contributed to draft the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted. MB conducted the literature search, reviewed search results and screened titles/abstracts, contributed to interpret the results, critically revised the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted. SC extracted key data from the included studies, contributed to interpret the results, critically revised the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted. EB conceived and designed the study, critically revised the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted. All authors are responsible for the accuracy and the integrity of the data.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request.
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