Infecting HPV during pregnancy increases the risk of preterm birth.


Illustration of human papillomavirus

Alexei Kotelnikov / Alamy

Pregnant women infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, are nearly four times more likely to give birth prematurely.

The findings suggest that as more teenagers are vaccinated against HPV, fewer preterm births occur. Helen Trotier At the University of Montreal, Canada.Premature babies are born small and are prone to infections and many other things Health problems..

HPV is a virus of sexually transmitted diseases that most people shrug naturally, but can prolong to cause cervical cancer, anal cancer, throat cancer, and genital warts.

Most high-income countries began offering HPV vaccination to teens about 10 years ago.The proportion of genital warts Began to fallHowever, the impact on the incidence of cervical cancer takes years to develop, so it takes time to appear.

Trotier wondered how the virus affects pregnant women. Her team examined HPV in the vaginal fluid of nearly 900 women during the first and last three months of pregnancy. Approximately 42% were positive at the start and two-thirds of these were infected with the virus to the end.

People infected with HPV during pregnancy were 3.7 times more likely to enter spontaneous delivery than those who were initially negative, or had to induce preterm birth due to complications. “We were surprised to see how strong the relationship was,” says Trotier.

If the virus directly causes preterm birth, the mechanism is unknown. HPV does not cause inflammation, which is one of the known causes of preterm birth, but it can damage cells in the cervix and make it more vulnerable to bacterial infections that cause inflammation, Trottier said. I have.

A previous study in Australia, which launched HPV jab in 2007, found that women in the vaccinated age group Lower preterm birth rate than older women, Suggests that the virus is actually causing the direct effect. As vaccine intake increases, the number of preterm births is likely to decrease everywhere, says Trotier. “Probably a big impact.”

Journal reference: JAMA network open, DOI: 10.1001 / jamanetworkopen.2021.25308

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