Study finds no association between maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection and infant neurodevelopment


In a latest research printed within the journal JAMA Network Open, researchers assessed whether or not publicity to delicate or asymptomatic maternal extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections through the being pregnant impacted the neurodevelopment of the toddler.

Research: Assessment of Neurodevelopment in Infants With and Without Exposure to Asymptomatic or Mild Maternal SARS-CoV-2 Infection During Pregnancy. Picture Credit score: OleksiiSynelnykov/


The impression of in-utero publicity to influenza, herpes simplex, and zika viruses on the neurodevelopment of infants has been broadly studied.

Because the onset of the coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the long- and short-term impacts of prenatal publicity to maternal SARS-CoV-2 infections on the toddler have been the main focus of varied research.

Whereas there have been only a few circumstances of vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from mom to fetus, maternal immune activation and different such mechanisms can alter the toddler’s neurodevelopment.

Though ongoing analysis such because the COVID-19 Mom Child Outcomes (COMBO) initiative potential research reported no alterations within the toddler’s neurodevelopment on account of prenatal publicity to SARS-CoV-2, these research have been based mostly on parent-reported scores for the developmental measures of the toddler.

These outcomes may very well be biased because of the decrease publicity of the dad and mom to different infants for comparability and parental stress through the pandemic.

Concerning the research

The current research examined mother-infant dyads and pregnant people enrolled in two parallel research — the COMBO initiative and the possible cohort. The latter was the multisite Epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in Being pregnant and Infancy (ESPI) Community research by america (U.S.) Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC).

All delivering sufferers enrolled within the two research have been examined for SARS-CoV-2 by means of both a polymerase chain response (PCR) take a look at of nasopharyngeal swabs or a serological take a look at for antibodies towards the virus.

Infants have been thought-about uncovered if the mom had examined optimistic for SARS-CoV-2 on both of the 2 assessments throughout being pregnant or on the time of supply.

A guide assessment of the digital well being information was carried out to evaluate whether or not the SARS-CoV-2 an infection within the mom was symptomatic or asymptomatic and to find out the trimester of publicity and date of onset of the an infection.

The toddler’s neurodevelopment was assessed utilizing the second version of the standardized Developmental Evaluation of Younger Kids (DAYC-2), carried out by means of telehealth visits utilizing on-line assembly platforms because of the stipulated social distancing situations through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The assessments have been carried out by means of interviews with the dad and mom or caregivers, direct behavioral observations, and direct assessments by the analysis assistants.


The outcomes confirmed earlier findings that prenatal publicity of the toddler to SARS-CoV-2 by means of maternal an infection didn’t have an effect on the toddler’s neurodevelopment.

The neurodevelopmental evaluation evaluated scores in cognitive growth, gross and wonderful motor expertise, and receptive and expressive language. Moreover, the scores in all these domains have been related for infants that have been prenatally uncovered to SARS-CoV-2 and infants that have been unexposed.

The trimester throughout which the mom contracted the SARS-CoV-2 an infection was additionally not related to adjustments within the DAYC-2 scores in any subdomains. The toddler’s publicity throughout any of the three trimesters to maternal SARS-CoV-2 an infection was not related to adjustments in DAYC-2 subdomain scores in comparison with unexposed infants.

Moreover, the symptomatic or asymptomatic nature of the maternal SARS-CoV-2 an infection was additionally not related to any neurodevelopmental subdomains assessed within the DAYC-2.

The researchers did be aware that increased gross motor DAYC-2 scores have been noticed in infants uncovered to asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections by means of the mom, whereas publicity to symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 an infection didn’t present an analogous affiliation.


The research examined the impression of prenatal publicity to symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections throughout completely different trimesters on the toddler’s neurodevelopment.

Total, the outcomes urged that publicity of the toddler to SARS-CoV-2 infections throughout any trimesters, whatever the symptomatic nature, was not related to decrease scores in any neurodevelopmental domains.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic continues with the emergence of newer variants, these findings might assist information the care of pregnant people with delicate or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections.

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