The influence of pregnancy on systemic immunity

Published Date
Journal
Immunologic Research
Citation
Immunol Res . 2012 Dec;54(1-3):254-61
DOI
10.1007/s12026-012-8303-9
Authors
Pazos M
Sperling RS
Moran TM
Kraus TA
Abstract

Adaptations in maternal systemic immunity are presumed to be responsible for observed alterations in disease susceptibility and severity as pregnancy progresses. Epidemiological evidence as well as animal studies have shown that influenza infections are more severe during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, resulting in greater morbidity and mortality, although the reason for this is still unclear. Our laboratory has taken advantage of 20 years of experience studying the murine immune response to respiratory viruses to address questions of altered immunity during pregnancy. With clinical studies and unique animal model systems, we are working to define the mechanisms responsible for altered immune responses to influenza infection during pregnancy and what roles hormones such as estrogen or progesterone play in these alterations.