Fighting flu in newborns begins in pregnancy

December 14, 2010

A three-year study by Yale School of Medicine researchers has found that vaccinating pregnant women against influenza is over 90 percent effective in preventing their infants from being hospitalized with influenza in the first six months of life. Published in the December 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, the study builds on preliminary data the research team presented last year at the Infectious Disease Society of America in Philadelphia.

Influenza is a major cause of serious respiratory disease in pregnant women and of hospitalization in infants. Although the flu vaccine is recommended for all pregnant women and children, no vaccine is approved for infants under six months of age. Preventive strategies for this age group include general infection control and vaccination of those coming in close contact with them.

First author Isaac Benowitz, a Yale medical student, senior author Marietta Vazquez, M.D., and their colleagues examined the effectiveness of flu vaccine during pregnancy in preventing hospitalization in infants. The study enrolled infants hospitalized at Yale-New Haven Hospital due to influenza and a similar group of infants without influenza. The researchers then compared whether each infant's mother had gotten the flu vaccine during pregnancy.

"When we compared vaccination rates during pregnancy in the study, we found that in the group of infants who didn't have influenza, far more mothers received the influenza vaccine," said Vazquez, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Yale. "In the group of infants studied, giving the vaccine to a woman during pregnancy was 91.5 percent effective in preventing hospitalization due to influenza."

Vazquez said that the study's findings provide an effective strategy for protecting infants under six months old, for whom no vaccine is available. She also points out that vaccination during pregnancy is cost-effective, as one vaccine protects two individuals.
-end-
Other Yale authors on the study include Daina B. Esposito, Kristina D. Gracey and Eugene D. Shapiro, M.D.

Citation: Clinical Infectious Diseases 2010, 51 (12) (December 15, 2010)

Yale University

Related Influenza Articles from Brightsurf:

Predicting influenza epidemics
Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed a unique method to predict influenza epidemics by combining several sources of data.

Common cold combats influenza
As the flu season approaches, a strained public health system may have a surprising ally -- the common cold virus.

Scent-sensing cells have a better way to fight influenza
Smell receptors that line the nose get hit by Influenza B just like other cells, but they are able to clear the infection without dying.

New antivirals for influenza and Zika
Leuven researchers have deployed synthetic amyloids to trigger protein misfolding as a strategy to combat the influenza A and Zika virus.

Assessment of deaths from COVID-19, seasonal influenza
Publicly available data were used to analyze the number of deaths from seasonal influenza deaths compared with deaths from COVID-19.

Obesity promotes virulence of influenza
Obesity promotes the virulence of the influenza virus, according to a study conducted in mice published in mBio, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Influenza: combating bacterial superinfection with the help of the microbiota
Frenc researchers and from Brazilian (Belo Horizonte), Scottish (Glasgow) and Danish (Copenhagen) laboratories have shown for the first time in mice that perturbation of the gut microbiota caused by the influenza virus favours secondary bacterial superinfection.

Chemists unveil the structure of an influenza B protein
MIT chemists have discovered the structure of an influenza B protein called BM2, a finding that could help researchers design drugs that block the protein and help prevent the virus from spreading.

How proteins help influenza A bind and slice its way to cells
Researchers have provided new insight on how two proteins help influenza A virus particles fight their way to human cells.

Eating elderberries can help minimize influenza symptoms
Conducted by Professor Fariba Deghani, Dr. Golnoosh Torabian and Dr.

Read More: Influenza News and Influenza Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.