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March 8, 1965

Transplacental Rubella Infection in Newly Born Infants

Author Affiliations

From the Newborn Service, Jefferson Davis Hospital, Clinical Research Center, Texas Children's Hospital, and the departments of pediatrics and virology and epidemiology, Baylor University College of Medicine, Houston.

JAMA. 1965;191(10):843-845. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080100061013

When Gregg1 in 1941 reported his finding of congenital cataracts in 78 patients following maternal rubella in the early months of pregnancy, a disease hitherto regarded as mild became a serious obstetrical, medical, and public health problem. Since then, numerous reports regarding the prenatal influence of maternal rubella have been published, demonstrating that the fetus may either be destroyed in utero or may suffer a variety of serious congenital defects.2

Virological techniques for the propagation of the rubella virus in tissue culture were developed in 1962.3,4 The following year Selzer5 reported the isolation of rubella virus from an aborted human fetus and in 1964 Kay et al6 found virus in a human fetus 18 weeks after maternal infection. In a recent study, Alford and associates7 isolated rubella virus from the products of conception in 24 of 51 women infected by rubella during the first