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Am J Reprod Immunol. 2015 Mar;73(3):199-213. doi: 10.1111/aji.12355. Epub 2015 Jan 13.

Viral infections during pregnancy.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.

Abstract

Viral infections during pregnancy have long been considered benign conditions with a few notable exceptions, such as herpes virus. The recent Ebola outbreak and other viral epidemics and pandemics show how pregnant women suffer worse outcomes (such as preterm labor and adverse fetal outcomes) than the general population and non-pregnant women. New knowledge about the ways the maternal-fetal interface and placenta interact with the maternal immune system may explain these findings. Once thought to be 'immunosuppressed', the pregnant woman actually undergoes an immunological transformation, where the immune system is necessary to promote and support the pregnancy and growing fetus. When this protection is breached, as in a viral infection, this security is weakened and infection with other microorganisms can then propagate and lead to outcomes, such as preterm labor. In this manuscript, we review the major viral infections relevant to pregnancy and offer potential mechanisms for the associated adverse pregnancy outcomes.

KEYWORDS:

Infection; placenta; polymicrobial; pregnancy; trophoblast; virus

PMID:
25582523
PMCID:
PMC4610031
DOI:
10.1111/aji.12355
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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