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.