Infectious diseases during pregnancy: screening, vaccination and treatment

An overview of risks to pregnant women from infections: current screening, vaccination, treatment and prevention programmes.

Infectious diseases in pregnancy can have serious consequences for both mother and child if left untreated. Prompt diagnosis allows the mother to receive care and treatment.

National antenatal infection screening and monitoring (NAISM)

Routine antenatal care for pregnant women in England includes screening for hepatitis B, HIV, and syphilis infection.

NHS infectious diseases in pregnancy screening programme.

NAISM data and methods

Antenatal screening for infectious diseases in England: summary report for 2013

NAISM annual data tables

Analysing antenatal infections national data: methods explains how the data is calculated.

National antenatal infection screening and monitoring form for maternity units.

Reports from before 2014 are available from the HPA’s archived site.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B guidance data and analysis


Pregnant women are an important group in the population who require specific interventions to prevent them from passing HIV to their unborn babies.

HIV in pregnant women on the HPA’s archives.

HIV: surveillance, data and management


Syphilis: surveillance, data and management


Rubella in Immunisation against infectious diseases: the green book.

Immunoglobulin handbook about rubella vaccination.

Rubella (German measles): guidance, data and analysis

Rashes in pregnancy

This guidance helps health professionals advise and treat pregnant women who have a rash compatible with a systemic viral illness, or who have had contact with a person with such an illness.

Viral rash in pregnancy

Pertussis (whooping cough) immunisation for pregnant women

This vaccination programme helps protect infants from whooping cough, by boosting pertussis immunity in pregnant women.

Pertussis: guidance, data and analysis

Unintentional vaccination in pregnancy: data collection from GPs and surgeries

The Immunisation department at Public Health England follows up women given certain vaccines in pregnancy (VIP).

Infection risks during lambing season

Pregnant women should avoid close contact with sheep that are giving birth. Read the advice from NHS Choices.

The number of human pregnancies affected by contact with sheep is extremely small, but the consequences can be serious.

Pregnant women who are in close contact with sheep during lambing may risk their own health and that of their unborn child, from infections that can occur in some ewes.

These infections include:

Although these infections are uncommon, it is important that pregnant women are aware of the risks to prevent infections.

Published 12 May 2012
Last updated 1 April 2016 + show all updates
  1. Updated text in line with change in IDPS programme 1 April 2016.

  2. First published.