Gravett and Nagalla at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) claim to have discovered a method for detecting intra-amniotic infections in pregnant women using state-of-the-art methods, according to the BBC News web site. They foresee that the finding may result in the development of a test for these hard-to-diagnose but common infections during pregnancy. Their research was published in JAMA.
Warning of near-term birth 'risk'
The BBC News web site highlights an article by Wang et al. published in Pediatrics, claiming that babies born just slightly prematurely have more health problems than those born at full term. They found conditions such as jaundice and hypoglycaemia were more common in babies born at 35 or 36 weeks gestation than those born at 37 weeks or more.
Brown et al. claim, in an article published in Archives of General Psychiatry, to have found that a dose of flu in the first half of pregnancy was linked to a three-fold increase in the risk of schizophrenia. However, illness in the second half of pregnancy seemed to have no effect.
These findings represent the strongest evidence thus far that prenatal exposure to influenza plays a role in schizophrenia. The researchers estimate that 14% of schizophrenia cases may be linked to exposure to the flu virus in the womb. Their work was highlighted on the BBC News web site on August 3rd.