Human Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the leading viral cause of congenital infection and debilitating birth defects including abnormally small heads and brains, neuromotor deficits and hearing and vision loss.
Although CMV infections in adults and children are mostly asymptomatic and harmless, the virus can be lethal to the developing foetus. Similarly, the Zika virus can cause severe birth defects including microcephaly and a spectrum of congenital malformations and is spread by mosquitoes.
A study presented at ESHRE this week has focused primarily on viral proteins in chorionic villi from first trimester placentas and found that both viruses target the cytotrophoblasts, and cells that prevent the spread of pathogens from mother to foetus. By crossing the uterine-placental barrier and targeting these cells, the viruses are able to infect the growing foetus, which ultimately results in severe birth defects.
These recent studies have provided a novel strategy to help strengthen the natural protection and reduce virus transmission at the uterine-placental interface.
Fertility First ensures all its patients are tested for Zika and CMV. To find out how Fertility First can help, contact the clinic today.