The Impact of Infection During Pregnancy on the Mother and Baby

  • C. R. Robert George
  • Monica M. Lahra
  • Heather E. JefferyEmail author


Maternal and newborn health are strongly linked. Infection is a recognized and prominent underlying cause of both maternal and newborn pathologies. Consequently, preventive strategies and many evidence-based interventions directed toward the mother can benefit both the mother and baby. Infection continues to account for a major proportion of maternal, fetal, and neonatal mortality and morbidity worldwide. About 40 % of maternal deaths result from infection while an additional 14.5 % of maternal deaths result from abortion, often with underlying sepsis causing death. Of the three major causes of neonatal deaths (infection, prematurity, intrapartum-related deaths), infection is responsible for 28 % and preterm birth complications are responsible for 14 %. Infection is both an underlying cause of preterm birth and a major cause of complications and death in mothers and babies.


Urinary tract infection (UTI) Pneumonia Bacterial vaginosis Candidiasis Trichomoniasis Chlamydia Gonorrhea Syphilis Tuberculosis Group A Streptococcus (GAS) Group B Streptococcus (GBS) Listeriosis Toxoplasmosis Malaria Parvovirus B19 Rubella Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) Human herpes simplex virus (HSV) HSV-1 HSV-2 Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) HIV Type 1 (HIV-1) HIV Type 2 (HIV-2) Maternal infection Neonatal infection Perinatal infection 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. R. Robert George
    • 1
  • Monica M. Lahra
    • 1
  • Heather E. Jeffery
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.South Eastern Area Laboratory Services, NSW Health PathologyThe Prince of Wales HospitalRandwickAustralia
  2. 2.International Maternal and Child HealthSydney School Public Health, University of Sydney, Royal Prince Alfred HospitalCamperdownAustralia

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