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Frontiers in pediatrics ; 9, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1609929


Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in-utero transmission of SARS-CoV-2 remains a rarity and only very few cases have been proven across the world. Here we depict the clinical, laboratory and radiologic findings of preterm triplets born at 28 6/7 weeks to a mother who contracted COVID-19 just 1 week before delivery. The triplets showed SARS-CoV-2 positivity right after birth, developed significant leukopenia and early-onset pulmonary interstitial emphysema. The most severely affected triplet I required 10 days of high-frequency oscillatory ventilation due to failure of conventional invasive ventilation, and circulatory support for 4 days. Despite a severe clinical course in two triplets (triplet I and II), clinical management without experimental, targeted antiviral drugs was successful. At discharge home, the triplets showed no signs of neurologic or pulmonary sequelae. Placental immunohistology with SARS-CoV-2 N-protein localized strongly to syncytiotrophoblast cells and, to a lesser extent, to fetal Hofbauer cells, proving intrauterine virus transmission. We discuss the role of maternal viremia as a potential risk factor for vertical transmission. To the best of our knowledge, our report presents the earliest unequivocally confirmed prenatal virus transmission in long-term surviving children, i.e., at the beginning of the third trimester.