ABSTRACT: Intrauterine infection is an important cause of some birth defects worldwide. The most common pathogens include rubella virus, cytomegaloviurs, ureaplasma urealyticum, toxoplasma, etc. General information about these pathogens in epidemiology, consequence of birth defects, and the possible mechanisms in the progress of birth defects, and the interventions to prevent or treat these pathogens' infections are described. The infections caused by rubella virus, cytomegaloviurs, ureaplasma urealyticum, toxoplasma, etc. are common, yet they are proved to be fatal during the pregnant period, especially during the first trimester. These infections may cause sterility, abortion, stillbirth, low birth weight, and affect multiple organs that may induce loss of hearing and vision, even fetal deformity and the long-term effects. These pathogens' infections may influence the microenvironment of placenta, including levels of enzymes and cytokines, and affect chondriosome that may induce the progress of birth defect. Early diagnosis of infections during pregnancy should be strengthened. There are still many things to be settled, such as the molecular mechanisms of birth defects, the effective vaccines to certain pathogens. Birth defect researches in terms of etiology and the development of applicable and sensitive pathogen detection technology and methods are imperative.
Biomedical and Environmental Sciences 01/2005; 17(4):476-91. · 1.35 Impact Factor