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Post-traumatic stress in pregnant women with primary cytomegalovirus infection and risk of congenital infection in newborns

  • Francesco Vadini (a1), Elisa Tracanna (a1), Ennio Polilli (a2), Monica Tontodonati (a2), Elena Ricci (a3), Francesca Santilli (a4) and Giustino Parruti (a2)...
Abstract
Background

Substantial evidence indicates that perinatal mental disturbances are associated with the risk for negative maternal-newborn outcomes. A neuroendocrine brain-placenta interaction has been described to explain the association between prenatal stress-related disorders and placental abnormalities. Whether these mechanisms may affect the likelihood of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of infections has never been investigated.

Aims

To evaluate the role of psychological factors in cytomegalovirus (CMV) MTCT in pregnant women with primary CMV infection.

Method

A cohort of 276 pregnant women with primary CMV infection underwent assessment of (a) reactive psychopathological symptoms, such as current depressive symptoms and ongoing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder; and (b) stable personality traits, such as alexithymia and Type D (distressed) personality. Congenital infection was diagnosed by CMV DNA amplification from blood and/or urine and saliva from newborn at birth.

Results

The occurrence of congenital CMV disease in the newborn was independently predicted by post-traumatic stress symptoms during pregnancy.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that psychological stress-related disturbances may weaken the physical and immunological barrier against the mother-to-fetus transmission of viruses.

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Copyright
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Corresponding author
Giustino Parruti, Infectious Disease Unit, Pescara General Hospital, Pescara, Italy. Email: parrutig@gmail.com
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Declaration of interest

We declare that we have no conflicting interests to disclose.

Footnotes
References
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Post-traumatic stress in pregnant women with primary cytomegalovirus infection and risk of congenital infection in newborns

  • Francesco Vadini (a1), Elisa Tracanna (a1), Ennio Polilli (a2), Monica Tontodonati (a2), Elena Ricci (a3), Francesca Santilli (a4) and Giustino Parruti (a2)...
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