From mice to women: The conundrum of immunity to infection during pregnancy

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Journal titleJournal of Reproductive Immunology
Pages6273; # of pages: 12
SubjectCD15 antigen; gamma interferon; granulocyte colony stimulating factor; interleukin 12; interleukin 1beta; interleukin 6; interleukin 8; macrophage inflammatory protein 1alpha; tumor necrosis factor alpha; adverse outcome; article; bacterial infection; blastocyst; Brucella abortus; Chlamydia; Chlamydophila; Chlamydophila abortus; Coxiella burnetii; cytokine production; cytokine response; Cytomegalovirus; decidualization; female; Fusobacterium nucleatum; gestational age; human; immunity; immunoreactivity; immunoregulation; infection resistance; influenza; Leishmania major; Listeria monocytogenes; listeriosis; macrophage; malaria; maternal disease; natural killer cell; neutrophil; nidation; nonhuman; parasitosis; pathogenesis; periodontitis; Plasmodium berghei; Plasmodium chabaudi; pregnancy; pregnancy outcome; priority journal; regulatory T lymphocyte; reproduction; Salmonella typhimurium; salmonellosis; Schistosoma mansoni; spontaneous abortion; T lymphocyte; Th1 cell; Th2 cell; Toxoplasma gondii; toxoplasmosis; Trypanosoma cruzi; virus infection; Animals; Disease Models, Animal; Female; Fetomaternal Transfusion; Humans; Immune Evasion; Mice; Placenta; Pregnancy; Pregnancy Complications, Infectious; Premature Birth; Transplantation Tolerance
AbstractResistance to infection is the ability of the host to evoke a strong immune response sufficient to eliminate the infectious agent. In contrast, maternal tolerance to the fetus necessitates careful regulation of immune responses. Successful pregnancy requires the maternal host to effectively balance the opposing processes of maternal immune reactivity and tolerance to the fetus. However, this balance can be perturbed by infections which are recognized as the major cause of adverse pregnancy outcome including pre-term labor. Select pathogens also pose a serious threat of severe maternal illness. These include intracellular and chronic pathogens that have evolved immune evasive strategies. Murine models of intracellular bacteria and parasites that mimic pathogenesis of infection in humans have been developed. While human epidemiological studies provide insight into maternal immunity to infection, experimental infection in pregnant mice is a vital tool to unravel the complex molecular mechanisms of placental infection, congenital transmission and maternal illness. We will provide a comprehensive review of the pathogenesis of several infection models in pregnant mice and their clinical relevance. These models have revealed the immunological function of the placenta in responding to, and resisting infection. Murine feto-placental infection provides an effective way to evaluate new intervention strategies for managing infections during pregnancy, adverse fetal outcome and long-term effects on the offspring and mother. © 2012.
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AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); Human Health Therapeutics (HHT-TSH)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21269626
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Record identifierb294846f-9129-482c-9020-d52075016d19
Record created2013-12-13
Record modified2016-05-09
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