Viral infections and Cancer in Pregnancy

In prenatal development, a growing foetus receives important nutrients like food, water and even oxygen to breathe, from the mother. But, unfortunately, there are a few infections and diseases that can pass on through the placenta, from the mother to the foetus. Although the placenta has antibodies to fight some of the diseases, the resistance power of placenta is low. Hence, the placenta has fewer restrictions to some of the common diseases, but it cannot resist the infections of many others.

Infections that placenta cannot resist:

  • If an expecting mother is infected with chicken pox in the first or second trimester, she has the risk of developing congenital varicella syndrome. If proper immunization is not done to the mother, this disease can flourish rapidly. Some of the common congenital disabilities observed in congenital varicella syndrome are congenital varicella syndrome- malformed limbs, various neurological problems, skin scarring, microcephaly and other intellectual disabilities. However, efficient vaccinations are available nowadays, to prevent a severe outbreak.
  • Medications for infection in pregnancy can effectively treat infections due to CMV at an early stage. Several antiviral medications are not worthy to prevent hearing loss and brain development issues. CMV virus usually causes chicken pox or cold sores. In cases where the mother is not exposed to any kind of prior infection with the virus, chances are there might be some issues in the newborn. Infections usually cause the baby’s liver to enlarge along with eyesight problems and even seizure symptoms. Symptomless CMV in infants, can cause mental and coordination problems at a later stage.
  • Hepatitis is a common viral infection affecting the liver. Hepatitis B virus or HBV is the most dangerous, followed by Hepatitis C virus or HCV. Hepatitis B, D and C falls under the section of sexually transmitted disease (STD), however, it can be transmitted through direct blood contact with an infected person. Although both HCV and Hepatitis A virus, HAV is known to cause chronic liver infections. Such infections unambiguously increase the chance of liver cancer. Choose oncology pregnancy medicine carefully, which not only cure the disease but has fewer side effects. Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E are usually caused by oral contact.
  • The mosquito borne infections are one of the commonest infections encountered in pregnancy among the poor. Although both chikungunya and malaria can occur and spread at any time of the year, it mostly occurs in humid climatic conditions. Common symptoms include chills, severe joint pains, headache and nausea. Babies exposed to Chikungunya are found to suffer from skin problems, fever and seizure symptoms. Miscarriages due to Chikungunya are rare, but it is not unusual for the baby to have contracted Chikungunya through blood during labour.
  • Bacterial infections encountered through eating outside during pregnancy are not rare. Listeriosis caused by Listeria monocytogenes, is a bacterial infection, which can for the cause meningitis, blood infection and several other harmful illnesses. Listeria infection can be anywhere from the amniotic fluid, the placenta, to even the baby.


Listeria is a very serious and dangerous disease to encounter. A mother infected with Listeria can have stillbirth and even miscarriage. Premature birth being an obvious option, babies can also be born with serious defects owing to infections in the central nervous system. Lesions on the organs, skin sores are very common, in otherwise extremely sick babies.

News Reporter

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