Perinatal Infections transmitted by the Mother to her Infant: educational material for health person

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Sunday, 02 May 2010 22:54

Montevideo: CLAP/WR; 2008. (CLAP/WR. Scientific Publication; 1567.02)
ISBN: 978-92-75-12942-5

Perinatal Infections transmitted by the Mother to her Infant: educational material for health person


This manual will review the updated information on the most common infectious diseases that the mother may transmit to her infant during pregnancy, at birth or by breast feeding the infant.

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Summary of this information will emphasize the basic knowledge of the pathogen, the disease, the burden of problems caused by the disease in the mother and her offspring, epidemiological aspects, and how to manage the disease. Most of the emphasis is directed to preventive measures, screening when interventions are available, and the detailed analysis of interventions during the preconceptional period, antenatal care, perinatal care and maternal and neonatal care after birth.

Two tables are presented that integrate all the principal components of management for diseases that are vertically transmissible:

Table I: VERTICAL INFECTIONS TRANSMITTED FROM THE MOTHERS TO THEIR INFANTS; SYSTEMATIC SCREENING AND INTERVENTIONS. This table summarizes for each infectious agent the route of transmission, the systematic maternal screening, the preconceptional and perinatal interventions, the systematic screening of neonates and the post natal interventions.

Table II. UNIVERSAL MEASURES TO PREVENT INFECTIONS DURING PREGNANCY. This table summarizes the preventive measures that every woman should follow in order to avoid an acute infection that may put her at risk of transmitting the infection to her infant during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

The table includes specific recommendations regarding contact with adults, including sexual contact, contact with blood products, contact with children, precautions with food and environmental risks, and work related risks.

This manual discusses each of the most common infections transmitted vertically from the mother to her offspring. It contains information on asymptomatic bacteriuria because, although it is not a vertically transmitted disease, its screening and treatment contributes to a decrease in the risk of premature birth.

The final chapter of this manual is a brief reference to the Perinatal Information System, currently used in all the countries of the LA&C region, distributed free by the Pan American Health Organization. The Perinatal Clinical Record and Maternal Antenatal Card register useful information on many of these infections and help to assess several indicators related to the burden of the problem and its management in health services.