Pregnancy outcome following infections by coxsackie, echo, measles, mumps, hepatitis, polio and encephalitis viruses

Asher Ornoy, Alexander Tenenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Women may be infected during pregnancy with infectious agents that are often passed unnoticed; however, the causative agent may still traverse the placenta and infect the developing embryo and fetus. Several of these agents (i.e. rubella, cytomegalovirus or Toxoplasma Gondii) may cause severe fetal damage, but most other infections in pregnancy seem to be much less dangerous to the fetus. In this review we discuss the effects of several viral infections during pregnancy where the effects on the developing embryo and fetus are infrequent, but they may sometimes cause severe neonatal disease. The following viruses are discussed: coxsackie and echoviruses, measles and mumps, polioviruses, Japanese and Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses, West Nile virus and hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E. Coxsackie B virus may cause an increase in early spontaneous abortions and rarely, fetal myocarditis; echoviruses do not seem to damage the fetus; measles and mumps may cause increased early and late fetal death and neonatal measles or mumps. The viruses affecting the nervous system may increase early and late spontaneous abortions and, rarely, cause severe damage to the fetal brain. Hepatitis B virus has a high rate of vertical transmission causing fetal and neonatal hepatitis. Hepatitis A, C and E are rarely transmitted trans-placentally; if transmitted, they may cause hepatitis. There is no evidence that immunization in pregnancy against these diseases (with attenuated viruses) may adversely affect pregnancy outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-457
Number of pages12
JournalReproductive Toxicology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Intrauterine infections
  • Perinatal effects
  • Pregnancy outcome


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