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May 6, 1974

Rubella Virus Transport In Pregnancy

Author Affiliations

Rochester, NY

JAMA. 1974;228(6):696. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230310018014

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To the Editor.—  The article by Fleet et al (227:621, 1974) demonstrating isolation of rubella virus from the eye of an aborted fetus is interesting and important. It clearly demonstrates that vaccine virus crosses the placenta and is probably teratogenic. However, a discrepancy requires clarification.It is stated that a saline abortion was done at 13 weeks of gestation. Without information on the patient's last menstrual period and uterine size, it is difficult to comprehend that the amniotic cavity could be located with ease, and hypertonic saline injected at 13 weeks of gestation. In keeping with the concept that this patient may have been more than 13 weeks pregnant, and was vaccinated within three weeks of conception, is the unlikely possibility that rubella vaccine virus will persist seven weeks as a viremia and be disseminated transplacentally to the conceptus. The original vaccine trials by Meyer et al (N Engl J Med