Definition and categorization of the timing of mother-to-child transmission of SARS-CoV-2


This scientific brief has been prepared based on the results of the evidence synthesis and a WHO expert consultation. The WHO COVID-19 LENS (Living Evidence Synthesis) Task Force consolidated the available evidence, based on rapid reviews of the literature and the results of a living systematic review on pregnancy and COVID-19 ( until October 7, 2020), on potential mechanisms of vertical transmission of infectious pathogens, feasibility of vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2, data relating to the interpretation of neonatal virological and serological tests positive for SARS- CoV-2, lessons learned from the diagnosis of other congenital infections and existing proposed definitions to classify the time of vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2. WHO convened a multidisciplinary, international expert panel between October and November 2020 to review the evidence and propose an initial consensus classification system for the timing of vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The panel included experts in obstetrics, neonatology, pediatrics, epidemiology, virology, infectious diseases, congenital infections and placental pathology. Panel selection ensured geographic representation, gender balance and absence of material conflicts of interest, in accordance with standard WHO procedures.

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