That disease may be conveyed from the mother to the fetus in utero there can be no doubt, but it is equally certain that this channel of infection is not a common one. Of course, the newborn child may acquire any of the transmissible diseases from which its mother may be suffering, and it is the more likely so to do by reason of the necessarily intimate contact between them. It would seem as if, under ordinary circumstances, the placenta acted somewhat as a filter through which passed only fluids and substances dissolved in them. This would not prevent the passage of toxins from the blood of the mother to that of the fetus, with the attending effects and sequels. In the presence, however, of disease of the placenta, particularly if attended with hemorrhagic lesions, it seems not impossible that microorganisms might pass from the maternal to the fetal circulation
THE OCCURRENCE OF MALARIAL FEVER IN THE NEWBORN.. JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(3):140–141. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480290024004
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