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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2011 Mar;1221:80-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05938.x.

Inflammation and pregnancy: the role of the immune system at the implantation site.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Reproductive Immunology Unit, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.


The concept that pregnancy is associated with immune suppression has created a myth of pregnancy as a state of immunological weakness and, therefore, of increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. A challenging question is whether the maternal immune system is a friend or a foe of pregnancy. In this review, we discuss data associated to the role of the immune system during pregnancy. We propose a new paradigm in terms of the fetal-maternal immune interaction as well as the immunological response of the mother to microorganism. Our challenge is to better understand the immunology of pregnancy in order to deliver the appropriate treatment to patients with pregnancy complications as well as to determine public policies for the protection of pregnant women during pandemics.

© 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

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