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Viral Infections in Pregnancy: A Focus on Ebola Virus
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  • Personal Authors:
  • Pubmed ID:
    29384053
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC6419752
  • Description:
    During gestation, the immune response of the placenta to viruses and other pathogens plays an important role in determining a pregnant woman's vulnerability toward infectious diseases. Located at the maternalfetal interface, trophoblast cells serve to minimize the spread of viruses between the host and developing fetus through an intricate system of innate antiviral immune signaling. Adverse pregnancy outcomes, ranging from learning disabilities to preterm birth and fetal death, are all documented results of a viral breach in the placental barrier. Viral infections during pregnancy can also be spread through blood and vaginal secretions, and during the post-natal period, via breast milk. Thus, even in the absence of vertical transmission of viral infection to the fetus, maternal health can still be compromised and threaten the pregnancy. The most common viral DNA isolates found in gestation are adenovirus, cytomegalovirus, and enterovirus. However, with the recent pandemic of Ebola virus, and the first documented case of a neonate to survive due to experimental therapies in 2017, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the changing roles and impacts of viral infection during pregnancy needs to be better understood, while strategies to minimize adverse pregnancy outcomes need to be identified. This review focuses on the adverse impacts of viral infection during gestation, with an emphasis on Ebola virus.

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