|Vertically transmitted infection|
|Micrograph of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection of the placenta (CMV placentitis), a vertically transmitted infection: The characteristic large nucleus of a CMV-infected cell is seen off-centre at the bottom right of the image, H&E stain.|
A vertically transmitted infection is an infection caused by pathogens (such as bacteria and viruses) that use mother-to-child transmission, that is, transmission directly from the mother to an embryo, fetus, or baby during pregnancy or childbirth. It can occur when the mother has a pre-existing disease or becomes infected during pregnancy. Nutritional deficiencies may exacerbate the risks of perinatal infections.
A vertically transmitted infection can be called a perinatal infection if it is transmitted in the perinatal period, which starts at gestational ages between 22perinatal period, which starts at gestational ages between 22 and 28 weeks (with regional variations in the definition) and ending seven completed days after birth.
The term congenital infection can be used if the vertically transmitted infection persists after childbirth.
Each type of vertically transmitted infection has a different prognosis. The stage of the pregnancy at the time of infection al
Pregnant women living in malaria-endemic areas are candidates for malaria prophylaxis. It clinically improves the anemia and parasitemia of the pregnant women, and birthweight in their infants.
If the mother has active herpes simplex (as may be suggested by a pap test), delivery by Caesarean section can prevent the newborn from contact, and consequent infection, with this virus.
IgG2 antibody may play crucial role in prevention of intrauterine infections and extensive research is going on for developing IgG2-based therapies for treatment and vaccination.
Each type of vertically transmitted infection has a different prognosis. The stage of the pregnancy at the time of infection also can change the effect on the newborn.