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Chronic maternal infections 

Chronic maternal infections
Chronic maternal infections

Kristel Van Calsteren

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date: 05 December 2020

Pregnant women diagnosed with chronic infections are a worldwide problem. In developed countries, the most frequently encountered are hepatitis B and C, toxoplasmosis, syphilis, herpes simplex, and Cytomegalovirus infections. In developing countries, human immunodeficiency virus and malaria are also seen commonly in pregnant women. Maternal infections are associated with various complications in pregnant women, but also with congenital infections with or without structural anomalies and long-term sequelae, fetal growth restriction, preterm delivery, and perinatal mortality. Moreover, increasing evidence suggests that maternal infection during pregnancy affects the developing immune system of the fetus independently of the vertical transmission of pathogens. This chapter discusses the pathogen characteristics, ways of transmission, clinical presentation, diagnostic options, treatment, and, if relevant, prophylaxis for the most common infections in pregnant women (excluding hepatitis which is discussed elsewhere).

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