Does an upper respiratory tract infection during pregnancy affect perinatal outcomes? A literature review

Julia Harris, Eyal Sheiner

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    7 Scopus citations


    Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) is a ubiquitous but often benign pathology most commonly of viral etiology. This review focuses on perinatal outcomes following URTI during pregnancy. Few data exist on the explicit topic of URTI and adverse perinatal outcomes. The entire URTI burden among pregnant women is not properly represented by the studies included in this review, because only those infections severe enough to warrant hospitalization have been studied. Most probably, the number of URTIs in pregnant women not requiring hospitalization is far larger, but this has yet to be quantified. Clearly, there are logistical barriers to obtaining such statistics. Severe URTI requiring hospitalization during pregnancy was noted to be associated with adverse perinatal complications. URTI was found to be positively correlated with preterm delivery (PTD; less than 37 weeks gestation), lower birth weight, and cesarean deliveries, without a significant effect on the rates of perinatal mortality or low Apgar scores. There appears to be a possible link between various infectious processes that occur during pregnancy and the outcome of a PTD. The inflammatory environment present during infection includes high levels of cytokines that are known to increase prostaglandins, which, in turn, can induce preterm birth. Further studies should evaluate whether URTI not requiring hospitalization has any effect on perinatal outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)143-147
    Number of pages5
    JournalCurrent Infectious Disease Reports
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 1 Apr 2013


    • Perinatal outcome
    • Pregnancy
    • Upper respiratory tract infection

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Infectious Diseases


    Dive into the research topics of 'Does an upper respiratory tract infection during pregnancy affect perinatal outcomes? A literature review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this