Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Herpes Virus Link To Preterm Birth And High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy

Date:
February 24, 2008
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
Researchers have made a world-first discovery that links viral infection with high blood pressure during pregnancy and preterm birth. Their work demonstrates, for the first time, that exposure to viral infection -- especially viruses of the herpes group -- may be associated with pregnancy-induced hypertensive disease (pre-eclampsia) and also with pre-term birth.

Viral nucleic acid was discovered in heel-prick blood samples taken from more than 1300 newborn babies over a 10-year period.
Credit: Photo by David Ellis

Researchers at Adelaide's Women's & Children's Hospital and the University of Adelaide, Australia, have made a world-first discovery that links viral infection with high blood pressure during pregnancy and pre-term birth.

The research findings are a major step forward in unravelling the mystery of the cause of high blood pressure in pregnancy.

The research has been conducted by the South Australian Cerebral Palsy Research Group, based in the University of Adelaide's School of Paediatrics & Reproductive Health and the Women's and Children's Hospital Microbiology & Infectious Diseases Department.

Their work demonstrates, for the first time, that exposure to viral infection -- especially viruses of the herpes group -- may be associated with pregnancy-induced hypertensive disease (pre-eclampsia) and also with pre-term birth.

The research discovered the presence of viral nucleic acid in heel-prick blood samples from 1326 newborn babies, taken over a 10-year period. More than 400 of these babies were diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

"This is an exciting finding and further studies are now required to look at the link between viral exposure in pregnancy and genetic susceptibility to adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as high blood pressure, premature delivery and cerebral palsy," says Professor Alastair MacLennan, leader of the research group.

Pregnancy hypertension (high blood pressure) occurs in up to 10% of first pregnancies throughout the developed world, such as in the UK, the United States and Australia. When untreated, it can lead to uncontrolled epileptic fits of eclampsia with loss of baby and mother. It is a common cause of maternal death in Third World countries.

The cause of high blood pressure in pregnancy has been an enigma for decades and a holy grail for many researchers.

The Adelaide research group has already demonstrated a link between viral infection in pregnancy, genetic mutations in genes controlling inflammatory and blood clotting processes, and the development of cerebral palsy.

The group has also found an association between several hereditary gene mutations with changes in inflammatory proteins that may cause dysfunction and constriction of the blood vessels of the placenta and brain, thus causing the rise in blood pressure in pregnancy. If not controlled, this can be lethal.

"We are just beginning to understand the interaction and importance of exposure to viruses and genetic susceptibility to infection both in pregnancy and the newborn," says Associate Professor Paul Goldwater, the virologist of the team.

This research was published in the British Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Herpes Virus Link To Preterm Birth And High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080218134633.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2008, February 24). Herpes Virus Link To Preterm Birth And High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080218134633.htm
University of Adelaide. "Herpes Virus Link To Preterm Birth And High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080218134633.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

3 Things To Know About The Ebola Outbreak's Progression

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Here are three things you need to know about the deadly Ebola outbreak's progression this week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins