“The Infectious Origins of Stillbirth” (2003) by Robert L. Goldenberg and Cortney Thompson
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In September 2003, Robert L. Goldenberg and Cortney Thompson published the article “The Infectious Origins of Stillbirth” in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. In the article, the authors conducted a literature review of articles from the US National Library of Medicine database to review the relationship between perinatal infections, which are infections around the time of birth, and the occurrence of stillbirth. Stillbirth is the death of a fetus in the uterus after at least twenty weeks of pregnancy. Infectious disease can cause or increase the risk of stillbirth in several ways, by causing illness in the pregnant person, damaging the placenta, or directly infecting the fetus. Infectious agents can be viruses, bacteria, or protozoa. Rates of infectious disease and stillbirth are both higher in developing than in developed countries, and the authors state that stillbirth due to infectious disease is also higher. “The Infectious Origins of Stillbirth” provides a comprehensive review of the information available on how infections can lead to stillbirth, providing a foundation for further research.