Infectious organisms are a major cause of pregnancy complications, including premature labor and maternal and fetal death and disease. Problems with the placenta are a major cause of fetal death, and studies have suggested that undiagnosed infection of the placenta and/or the fetus may be a significant cause of unexplained stillbirths. However, the mechanisms of placental and fetal infection and disease development are poorly understood.
In FY 2011, NIAID partnered with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to offer the initiative Strategies for the Protection of Pregnant Women and Infants Against Infectious Diseases, which will solicit new and innovative studies of pathogens that affect placental function and fetal well-being. The knowledge gained through this research will provide a basis for developing interventions against these pathogens and for meeting the long-term goal of reducing their adverse impact on pregnancy and fetal health.
Last Updated January 08, 2013
Last Reviewed January 08, 2013