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, syphilis infection and rubella susceptibility.
NAISM data and methods
Analysing antenatal infections national data: methods explains how the data is calculated.
National antenatal infection screening and monitoring form for maternity units.
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.
Immunoglobulin handbook about rubella vaccination.
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.
Pertussis (whooping cough) immunisation for pregnant women
This vaccination programme helps protect infants from whooping cough, by boosting pertussis immunity in pregnant women.
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:
- chlamydiosis (enzootic abortion of ewes – EAE)
- toxoplasmosis (causes abortion in ewes)
- listeriosis (causes abortion in ewes)
- Q fever
Although these infections are uncommon, it is important that pregnant women are aware of the risks to prevent infections.