Prenatal Viral Exposure

Prenatal exposure to viral infections is implicated in a number of poor outcomes, including stillbirth, perinatal mortality, and negative developmental and behavioral outcomes. In a number of cases of maternal viral infection, symptoms are nonexistent or nonspecific, making diagnosis difficult. Vertical transmission, or transmission from mother to child, can occur via placental membrane infection, contact with infected genital tissue during delivery, or breastfeeding and is a primary concern during the prenatal and perinatal period. In general, infection earlier in gestation results in greater central nervous system (CNS) impairment. Neonates affected by congenital viral infection are prone to multisystem organ involvement, and behavioral manifestations of CNS impairment are common. Historically, the TORCH acronym reflected toxoplasmosis, other agents, rubella, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and herpes simplex virus (HSV) ...

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