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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 67

of 'Approach to acute abdominal pain in pregnant and postpartum women'

Fatal echovirus 11 disease in premature neonates.
Modlin JF
Pediatrics. 1980;66(5):775.
Four cases of fatal echovirus 11 disease occurred in premature infants during a community outbreak of enteroviral disease in Massachusetts in 1979. Each infant developed nonspecific symptoms and jaundice at 4 to 6 days of age, and subsequent progressive hepatic failure and generalized bleeding. Only one infant survived longer than six days. Virus was recovered from multiple sites premortem, and from virtually all tissue cultured at autopsy. Myocarditis was not present clinically or pathologically. Clinical and laboratory evidence implicated perinatal transmission of virus from mother to infant. Three mothers experienced a febrile illness with abdominal pain within the last five days of pregnancy. In two, the illness led to a false diagnosis of abruptio placenta and interruption of pregnancy by cesarian section. Review of case reports of this syndrome caused by other echovirus serotypes revealed that many had similar perinatal events. Each mother ultimately developed neutralizing antibody to echovirus 11. However, all four infants were born without passively acquired antibody, probably because they were delivered prior to the appearance of specific maternal IgG. Although laboratory studies by others have shown other factors may be responsible for the ability of enterovirus to cause overwhelming disease in neonates, uncontrolled data from these four infants and their mothers suggest that timing of maternal illness in relation to delivery of the infant may also be important.