Maternal infection is a common occurrence during pregnancy, with a substantial impact on the infant. Some infections result in impaired development in utero and even death of the fetus. Other infections may be insidious in the mother but result in growth impairment and hearing loss in the infant. A growing body of evidence suggests that even infections such as chorioamnionitis, thought to have no long-term impact on the infant, may alter fetal development. This chapter will review congenital infections and their impact on neonatal outcomes, as well as newer findings suggesting that acute infection may result in adverse changes in the infant. We will explore novel mechanisms of pathogenesis and virulence, as well as areas that continue with ongoing research.
Part of the book: Congenital Anomalies in Newborn Infants