[Skip to Navigation]
[Skip to Navigation Landing]
October 1965

Studies on Antibody in Congenital Rubella Infections: I. Physicochemical and Immunologic Investigations of Rubella Neutralizing Antibody

Author Affiliations

Dr. Alford is a Research Fellow, Department of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, and Research Fellow in Medicine, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Boston. These studies were initiated under tenure of Special Fellowship, US Public Health Service, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Medical College of Alabama (on leave of absence).; From the Department of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health.

Am J Dis Child. 1965;110(4):455-463. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090030475019

Introduction  LAST YEAR we established that rubella virus may infect the first trimester human fetus and persist therein throughout pregnancy, virus being recoverable from newborn infants with signs of the rubella syndrome.1 An interesting relationship between the isolation of rubella virus from the product of conception and the gestational age at the time of maternal rubella was elucidated.1 Relevant findings of this study, based on materials from 68 women, are summarized in Table 1. The isolation rate was 14% in the first two weeks of pregnancy, reached a maximum of 73% between the fifth and sixth weeks, and decreased thereafter to 33%. Placental recoveries of virus exceeded fetal recoveries in each age category. Moreover, most of the fetal isolates were associated with maternal rubella occurrences from the third through the eighth week of pregnancy, whereas persistent placental infection was common with exposures after the eighth week of pregnancy.