Maternal infection during pregnancy and risk of ASD

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Maternal infection during pregnancy and risk of ASD

Postby kulkulkan » Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:59 am

Another good reason to never get flu shots or mess around with the immune system during pregnancy. In the maternal immune activation (MIA) mouse model for ASD, the maternal infection is triggered by giving an adjuvant salt to pregnant mouse to mimic immune changes rather than an actual viral infection - causing offspring mouse to have ASD. One major risk factor that we could have avoided in hindsight.

Brain Behav Immun. 2014 Sep 16. pii: S0889-1591(14)00452-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2014.09.001. [Epub ahead of print]
Maternal hospitalization with infection during pregnancy and risk of autism spectrum disorders.
Lee BK1, Magnusson C2, Gardner RM3, Blomström S2, Newschaffer CJ4, Burstyn I5, Karlsson H6, Dalman C2.
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Animal models indicate that maternal infection during pregnancy can result in behavioral abnormalities and neuropathologies in offspring. We examined the association between maternal inpatient diagnosis with infection during pregnancy and risk of ASD in a Swedish nationwide register-based birth cohort born 1984-2007 with follow-up through 2011. In total, the sample consisted of 2,371,403 persons with 24,414 ASD cases. Infection during pregnancy was defined from ICD codes. In the sample, 903 mothers of ASD cases (3.7%) had an inpatient diagnosis of infection during pregnancy. Logistic regression models adjusted for a number of covariates yielded odds ratios indicating approximately a 30% increase in ASD risk associated with any inpatient diagnosis of infection. Timing of infection did not appear to influence risk in the total Swedish population, since elevated risk of ASD was associated with infection in all trimesters. In a subsample analysis, infections were associated with greater risk of ASD with intellectual disability than for ASD without intellectual disability. The present study adds to the growing body of evidence, encompassing both animal and human studies, that supports possible immune-mediated mechanisms underlying the etiology of ASD.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Autism; Cytokines; Epidemiology; Infection

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Re: Maternal infection during pregnancy and risk of ASD

Postby Winnie » Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:28 pm

It seems like another good reason not to get the flu (or any other infection serious enough to potentially require hospitalization), since the study data pertains to hospitalizations. I don't agree with your leap that an adjuvant salt in a vaccine rises to that level -- but here is some interesting commentary on that paper, along with citations of related studies:

"I have just a few more points to made about the Lee findings and then I'm done. First is the stress on 'infections requiring hospitalisation' in the current paper as potentially being important. I think back to the Atladóttir findings [4] talking about: "little evidence that various types of mild common infectious diseases or febrile episodes during pregnancy were associated with ASD/infantile autism" suggesting that infection severity (or individual response to infection) might be an important variable. The same author in another paper [5] also reported: "admission to hospital due to maternal viral infection in the first trimester and maternal bacterial infection in the second trimester were found to be associated with diagnosis of ASDs in the offspring" reiterating that "requiring hospitalisation" link."
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