REVIEW ARTICLE: The Immune System in Pregnancy: A Unique Complexity

Authors

  • Gil Mor,

    1. Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Reproductive Immunology Unit, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
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  • Ingrid Cardenas

    1. Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Reproductive Immunology Unit, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
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Gil Mor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, Reproductive Immunology Unit, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St. LSOG 305A, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
E-mail: gil.mor@yale.edu

Abstract

Citation Mor G, Cardenas I. The immune system in pregnancy: a unique complexity. Am J Reprod Immunol 2010

Abstract

Placental immune response and its tropism for specific viruses and pathogens affect the outcome of the pregnant woman’s susceptibility to and severity of certain infectious diseases. The generalization of pregnancy as a condition of immune suppression or increased risk is misleading and prevents the determination of adequate guidelines for treating pregnant women during pandemics. There is a need to evaluate the interaction of each specific pathogen with the fetal/placental unit and its responses to design the adequate prophylaxis or therapy. The complexity of the immunology of pregnancy and the focus, for many years, on the concept of immunology of pregnancy as an organ transplantation have complicated the field and delayed the development of new guidelines with clinical implications that could help to answer these and other relevant questions. Our challenge as scientists and clinicians interested in the field of reproductive immunology is to evaluate many of the ‘classical concepts’ to define new approaches for a better understanding of the immunology of pregnancy that will benefit mothers and fetuses in different clinical scenarios.

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