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Samba II PCR testing for COVID-19 in pregnant women: a retrospective cohort study and literature review.

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Xu, Ruiling 
Pauley, Tara Alicia 
Missfelder-Lobos, Hannah 
Haddon, Richard John 
Gupta, Ravindra Kumar 


BACKGROUND: Asymptomatic carriage of COVID-19 in pregnant women has been reported and could lead to outbreaks in maternity units. We sought to ascertain the impact of rapid isothernal nucleic acid based testing for COVID-19 in an unselected cohort of pregnant women attending our maternity unit. We also assessed the correlation between community prevalence and asymptomatic carriage. METHODS: Data for the retrospective cohort study were collected from a large UK tertiary maternity unit over a 4-week period using computerised hospital records. Literature searches were performed across multiple repositories. COVID-19 prevalence was extracted from online repositories. RESULTS: Nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs were obtained from 457/465 (98%) women during the study period. The median turnaround time for results was 5.3 h (interquartile range (IQR) 2.6-8.9 h), with 92% of the results returned within 24 h. In our cohort, only one woman tested positive, giving a screen positive rate of 0.22% (1/457; 95% CI: 0.04-1.23%). One woman who tested negative developed a fever postnatally following discharge but was lost to follow-up. From our literature review, we did not find any correlation between asymptomatic carriage in pregnant women and the reported regional prevalence of COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Testing using the SAMBA-II machine was acceptable to the vast majority of pregnant women requiring admission and had a low turnaround time. Asymptomatic carriage is low, but not correlated to community prevalence rates. Screening pregnant women on admission will remain an important component in order to minimise nosocomial infection.



COVID-19, Pregnancy, SARS-CoV-2, Universal screening, COVID-19, COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing, Carrier State, Cohort Studies, Cross Infection, Female, Hospitals, Maternity, Humans, Mass Screening, Point-of-Care Testing, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Infectious, Retrospective Studies, SARS-CoV-2, Time Factors, United Kingdom

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BMC Pregnancy Childbirth

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC