An Overview of Teratology

  • Ana M. Calado
  • Maria dos Anjos PiresEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1797)


In this chapter, we provide an overview of the basic principles of teratology, beginning with its definition, the critical point for teratogenesis to occur and the most evident etiological agents to improve the understanding of this science.

Teratology is a recent science that began in the early twentieth century, and has greatly improved over the recent years with the advancements in molecular biology, toxicology, animal laboratory science, and genetics, as well as the improvement on the knowledge of the environmental influences.

Nevertheless, more work is required to reduce the influence of hazardous products that could be deleterious during pregnancy, thus reducing teratogenic defects in the newborn. While some teratogenic defects are attributed to their agents with certainty, the same for a lot of other such defects is lacking, necessitating consistent studies to decipher the influence of various teratogenic agents on their corresponding teratogenic defects. It is here that the laboratory animal science is of great importance both in the present and in the future.

Key words

Teratology Basic principles Etiological agents Environmental agents Genetic factors Maternal conditions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Ciências VeterináriasUniversidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD)Vila RealPortugal
  2. 2.Centro de Ciência Animal e Veterinária (CECAV)Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD)Vila RealPortugal

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