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COVID-19 May Have Maternal-Infant Transmission

The study of Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University reveals that there is a possibility of COVID-19 virus to be transmitted vertically from mother to infant.

On March 26, 2020, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University published a research paper entitled "Antibodies in Infants Born to Mothers With COVID-19 Pneumonia" online in the international top journal JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association, 2018 impact factor 51). The study found that among 6 mothers with confirmed COVID-19, SARS-CoV-19 was not detected in the serum or throat swab by RT-PCR in any of their newborns. However, virus-specific antibodies were detected in neonatal blood sera samples. The IgG concentrations were elevated in 5 infants. Two infants had IgG and IgM concentrations higher than the normal level (10 AU/mL). One infant had an IgG level of 125.5 and IgM level of 39.6 AU/mL; the second infant, had an IgG level of 113.91 AU/mL and IgM level of 16.25 AU/mL (Table 1). Their mothers also had elevated levels of IgG and IgM (Table 2). Three infants had elevated IgG levels (75.49, 73.19, 51.38 AU/mL) but normal IgM levels; all 3 mothers had elevated IgG and 2 also had elevated IgM levels. Inflammatory cytokine IL-6 was significantly increased in all infants. None of the infants presented any symptoms as of March 8, 2020.


However, IgM, which was detected in 2 infants, is not usually transferred from mother to fetus because of its larger macromolecular structure.


In all, these findings are important for understanding the serological characteristics of infants whose mothers are infected with SARS-CoV-2 and further study is necessary.


After journals like CHINESE JOURNAL OF LABORATORY MEDICINE and INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LABORATORY MEDICINE have published a series of articles, showing the research results of COVID-19 diagnosis by using YHLO's iFlash chemiluminescence analyzer and its CLIA SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG kits, now JAMA also published the related article, which indicates YHLO’s SARS-CoV-2 CLIA kits has got unanimous approval and favorable comment at home and abroad in the fight against COVID-19.

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