New Maternal Infections Linked To Congenital Eye Anomalies

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Maternal infection with rubella, toxoplasmosis, varicella, and cytomegalovirus has been linked to anophthalmus and microphthalmos and now, new research implicates influenza and Parvovirus infections. By contrast, Coxsackie virus infection was linked to a decreased risk of these eye anomalies.

The findings, which appear in the May issue of Epidemiology, are based on an analysis of data from the England anophthalmos/microphthalmos register, which included 406 affected babies born between 1988 and 1994 (total births during this period = 4,570,350). This data was then correlated with temporal variations in maternal influenza, Coxsackie virus, and Parvovirus infections.

Parvovirus B19 infection was associated with a 26% increase in the prevalence of severe cases of anophthalmos/microphthalmos, lead author Dr. Araceli Busby, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and colleagues note. Influenza infection was tied to a 41% increase in this rate.

Coxsackie virus infection, by contrast, was linked to a 25% and 34% drop in the prevalence of any cases and severe cases, respectively, the investigators note.

"This analysis provides suggestive evidence for a teratogenic role of influenza and Parvovirus in anophthalmos/microphthalmos," the authors conclude. "The role of maternal infections in congenital anomaly etiology is worthy of further investigation."

Source: Epidemiology 2005;16:317-322. [ Google search on this article ]

Copyright © 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

Back to news