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INTRODUCTION - Metabolic stress (e.g., gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and obesity) and infections are common during pregnancy, impacting fetal development and the health of offspring. Such antenatal stresses can differentially impact male and female offspring. We sought to determine how metabolic stress and maternal immune activation (MIA), either alone or in combination, alters inflammatory gene expression within the placenta and whether the effects exhibited sexual dimorphism.
METHODS - Female C57BL/6 J mice were fed a normal diet or a high fat diet for 6 weeks prior to mating, with the latter diet inducing a GDM phenotype during pregnancy. Dams within each diet group at gestational day (GD) 12.5 received either an intraperitoneal injection of the viral mimic, polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)) or saline. Three hours post injection; placentae were collected and analyzed for changes in the expression of 248 unique immune genes.
RESULTS - Placental immune gene expression was significantly altered by GDM, MIA and the combination of the two (GDM+MIA). mRNA expression was generally lower in placentae of mice exposed to GDM alone compared with the other experimental groups, while mice exposed to MIA exhibited the highest transcript levels. Notably, fetal/placental sex influenced the responses of many immune genes to both metabolic and inflammatory stress.
DISCUSSION - GDM and MIA provoke inflammatory responses within the placenta and such effects exhibit sexual dimorphism. The combination of these stressors impacts the placenta differently than either condition alone. These findings may help explain sexual dimorphism observed in adverse pregnancy outcomes in human offspring exposed to similar stressors.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
RATIONALE - Data are limited regarding the safety of 12-dose once-weekly isoniazid (H, 900 mg) plus rifapentine (P, 900 mg) (3HP) for latent infection treatment during pregnancy.
OBJECTIVES - To assess safety and pregnancy outcomes among pregnant women who were inadvertently exposed to study medications in two latent tuberculosis infection trials (PREVENT TB or iAdhere) evaluating 3HP and 9 months of daily isoniazid (H, 300 mg) (9H).
METHODS - Data from reproductive-age (15-51 yr) women who received one or more study dose of 3HP or 9H in either trial were analyzed. Drug exposure during pregnancy occurred if the estimated date of conception was on or before the last dose date.
RESULTS - Of 126 pregnancies (125 participants) that occurred during treatment or follow-up, 87 were exposed to study drugs. Among these, fetal loss was reported for 4/31 (13%) and 8/56 (14%), 3HP and 9H, respectively (difference, 13% - 14% = -1%; 95% confidence interval = -17% to +18%) and congenital anomalies in 0/20 and 2/41 (5%) live births, 3HP and 9H, respectively (difference, 0% - 5% = -5%; 95% confidence interval = -18% to +16%). All fetal losses occurred in pregnancies of less than 20 weeks. Of the total 126 pregnancies, fetal loss was reported in 8/54 (15%) and 9/72 (13%), 3HP and 9H, respectively; and congenital anomalies in 1/37 (3%) and 2/56 (4%) live births, 3HP and 9H, respectively. The overall proportion of fetal loss (17/126 [13%]) and anomalies (3/93 [3%]) were similar to those estimated for the United States, 17% and 3%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS - Among reported pregnancies in these two latent tuberculosis infection trials, there was no unexpected fetal loss or congenital anomalies. These data offer some preliminary reassurance to clinicians and patients in circumstances when these drugs and regimens are the best option in pregnancy or in women of child-bearing potential. This work used the identifying trial registration numbers NCT00023452 and NCT01582711, corresponding to the primary clinical trials PREVENT TB and iAdhere (Tuberculosis Trials Consortium Study 26 and 33).
PROBLEM - Premature birth complicates 10%-12% of deliveries. Infection and inflammation are the most common etiologies and are associated with increased offspring morbidity and mortality. We hypothesize that lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced maternal inflammation causes direct placenta injury and subsequent injury to the fetal intestine.
METHOD OF STUDY - Pregnant C57Bl6 mice were injected intraperitoneally on day 15.5 with 100 μg/kg LPS or saline. Maternal serum, amniotic fluid, placental samples, and ileal samples of offspring were obtained assessed for inflammation and/or injury. Maternal placental ultrasounds were performed. Placental DNA was isolated for microbiome analysis.
RESULTS - Maternal injection with LPS caused elevated IL-1β, IL-10, IL-6, KC-GRO, and TNF. Placental tissue showed increased IL-1β, IL-6, and KC-GRO and decreased IL-10, but no changes were observed in amniotic fluid. Placental histology demonstrated LPS-induced increases in mineralization and necrosis, but no difference in placental blood flow. Most placentas had no detectable microbiome. Exposure to maternal LPS induced significant injury to the ilea of the offspring.
CONCLUSION - Lipopolysaccharide causes a maternal inflammatory response that is mirrored in the placenta. Placental histology demonstrates structural changes; however, placental blood flow is preserved. LPS also induces an indirect intestinal injury in the offspring that lasts beyond the neonatal period.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
OBJECTIVE - To assess whether interpregnancy interval length after a pregnancy loss is associated with risk of repeat miscarriage.
METHODS - This analysis includes pregnant women participating in the Right From the Start (2000-2012) community-based prospective cohort study whose most recent pregnancy before enrollment ended in miscarriage. Interpregnancy interval was defined as the time between a prior miscarriage and the last menstrual period of the study pregnancy. Miscarriage was defined as pregnancy loss before 20 weeks of gestation. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate crude and adjusted hazard ratios and 95% CIs for the association between different interpregnancy interval lengths and miscarriage in the study pregnancy. Adjusted models included maternal age, race, parity, body mass index, and education.
RESULTS - Among the 514 study participants who reported miscarriage as their most recent pregnancy outcome, 15.7% had a repeat miscarriage in the study pregnancy (n=81). Median maternal age was 30 years (interquartile range 27-34) and 55.6% of participants had at least one previous livebirth (n=286). When compared with women with interpregnancy intervals of 6-18 months (n=136), women with intervals of less than 3 months (n=124) had the lowest risk of repeat miscarriage (7.3% compared with 22.1%; adjusted hazard ratio 0.33, 95% CI 0.16-0.71). Neither maternal race nor parity modified the association. Attempting to conceive immediately was not associated with increased risk of miscarriage in the next pregnancy.
CONCLUSION - An interpregnancy interval after pregnancy loss of less than 3 months is associated with the lowest risk of subsequent miscarriage. This implies counseling women to delay conception to reduce risk of miscarriage may not be warranted.
A 2240 gram boy was born at 33.2 weeks gestation with nonblanching, deeply erythematous plaques and papules on the back, flanks, and scalp (Figure 1). His mother was GBS positive and on antibiotic suppression for prior cutaneous MRSA and urinary tract infections. Intrapartum intravenous Penicillin G was administered, and the amniotic sac was artificially ruptured 4 hours prior to delivery to facilitate labor. The delivery was uncomplicated without concern for chorioamnionitis, but the patient initially required CPAP for respiratory distress with 1-minute and 5-minute Apgar scores of 7 and 8, respectively. A skin punch biopsy is shown (Figure 2).
OBJECTIVE - To systematically review studies reporting the risk of spontaneous abortion among pregnant women of typical reproductive potential with and without uterine leiomyomas.
DATA SOURCES - We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and ClinicalTrials.gov for publications from January 1970 to December 2016.
METHODS OF STUDY SELECTION - We excluded studies that did not use imaging to uniformly document leiomyoma status of all participants, did not have a comparison group without leiomyomas, or primarily included women seeking care for recurrent miscarriage, infertility care, or assisted reproductive technologies.
TABULATION, INTEGRATION, AND RESULTS - Two authors independently reviewed eligibility, extracted data, and assigned overall quality ratings based on predetermined criteria. Of 1,469 articles identified, nine were eligible. Five enrolled general obstetric populations and four included women undergoing amniocentesis. In five studies in general obstetric populations that included 21,829 pregnancies (1,394 women with leiomyomas and 20,435 without), only one adjusted for potential confounders. This meta-analysis revealed no increase in risk of spontaneous abortion among those with leiomyomas compared with those without (11.5% compared with 8.0%; risk ratio 1.16, 95% CI 0.80-1.52). When bias from confounding was estimated for nonadjusted studies, the aggregate calculated risk ratio was 0.83 (95% CI 0.68-0.98).
CONCLUSION - Leiomyoma presence was not associated with increased risk of spontaneous abortion in an analysis of more than 20,000 pregnant women. Failure of prior studies to adjust for confounders may have led to the common clinical belief that leiomyomas are a risk factor for spontaneous abortion.
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is associated with adverse pregnancy outcome. In women with SCD living in low-resource settings, pregnancy is associated with significantly increased maternal and perinatal mortality rates. We tested the hypothesis that implementing a multidisciplinary obstetric and hematology care team in a low-resource setting would significantly reduce maternal and perinatal mortality rates. We conducted a before-and-after study, at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana, to evaluate the effect of a multidisciplinary obstetric-hematology care team for women with SCD in a combined SCD-Obstetric Clinic. The pre-intervention period was assessed through a retrospective chart review to identify every death and the post-intervention period was assessed prospectively. Interventions consisted of joint obstetrician and hematologist outpatient and acute inpatient reviews, close maternal and fetal surveillance, and simple protocols for management of acute chest syndrome and acute pain episodes. Primary outcomes included maternal and perinatal mortality rates before and after the study period. A total of 158 and 90 pregnant women with SCD were evaluated in the pre- and post- intervention periods, respectively. The maternal mortality rate decreased from 10 791 per 100 000 live births at pre-intervention to 1176 per 100 000 at post-intervention, representing a risk reduction of 89.1% (P = 0.007). Perinatal mortality decreased from 60.8 per 1000 total births at pre-intervention to 23.0 per 1000 at post-intervention, representing a risk reduction of 62.2% (P = 0.20). A multidisciplinary obstetric and hematology team approach can dramatically reduce maternal and perinatal mortality in a low-resource setting.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
The prenatal environment is now recognized as a key driver of non-communicable disease risk later in life. Within the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) paradigm, studies are increasingly identifying links between maternal morbidity during pregnancy and disease later in life for offspring. Nutrient restriction, metabolic disorders during gestation, such as diabetes or obesity, and maternal immune activation provoked by infection have been linked to adverse health outcomes for offspring later in life. These factors frequently co-occur, but the potential for compounding effects of multiple morbidities on DOHaD-related outcomes has not received adequate attention. This is of particular importance in low- or middle-income countries (LMICs), which have ongoing high rates of infectious diseases and are now experiencing transitions from undernutrition to excess adiposity. The purpose of this scoping review is to summarize studies examining the effect and interaction of co-occurring metabolic or nutritional stressors and infectious diseases during gestation on DOHaD-related health outcomes. We identified nine studies in humans - four performed in the United States and five in LMICs. The most common outcome, also in seven of nine studies, was premature birth or low birth weight. We identified nine animal studies, six in mice, two in rats and one in sheep. The interaction between metabolic/nutritional exposures and infectious exposures had varying effects including synergism, inhibition and independent actions. No human studies were specifically designed to assess the interaction of metabolic/nutritional exposures and infectious diseases. Future studies of neonatal outcomes should measure these exposures and explicitly examine their concerted effect.
PURPOSE - Data about maternal recall accuracy for classifying early pregnancy medication exposure are meager. Nonetheless, studies often rely on recall to evaluate potential impact of pharmaceuticals on the developing fetus.
METHODS - Right from the Start is a community-based pregnancy cohort that enrolled women from North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. A subset of 318 women participated in daily medication diaries initiated before conception (2006-2012). We examined nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as an example of a drug type that is difficult to study due to its intermittent and primarily over-the-counter use as well as its incomplete documentation in medical and pharmaceutical records. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) were assessed as a prescription medication comparator. Maternal recall of NSAID and SSRI use in early pregnancy was examined by comparing diary data (gold standard) to first-trimester interview.
RESULTS - Sensitivity and specificity for recall of NSAID exposure were 78.6% and 62.3%, respectively (kappa statistic: 0.41), with 72.3% agreement for exposure classification. Sensitivity and specificity for recall of SSRI exposure were 77.8% and 99.0%, respectively (kappa statistic: 0.79), with 97.8% agreement.
CONCLUSIONS - Our findings suggest the validity of maternal recall varies with medication type and prospective data collection should be prioritized when studying early pregnancy drug exposures.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Staphylococcus aureus, a metabolically flexible gram-positive pathogen, causes infections in a variety of tissues. Recent evidence implicates S. aureus as an emerging cause of chorioamnionitis and premature rupture of membranes, which are associated with preterm birth and neonatal disease. We demonstrate here that S. aureus infects and forms biofilms on the choriodecidual surface of explanted human gestational membranes. Concomitantly, S. aureus elicits the production of proinflammatory cytokines, which could ultimately perturb maternal-fetal tolerance during pregnancy. Therefore, targeting the immunological response to S. aureus infection during pregnancy could attenuate disease among infected individuals, especially in the context of antibiotic resistance.
Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2016. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.