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There are lingering questions regarding the association between maternal infection and preeclampsia. Systematic review and metaanalysis was conducted of observational studies that examined the relationship between maternal infection and preeclampsia. Forty-nine studies met the inclusion criteria. The risk of preeclampsia was increased in pregnant women with urinary tract infection (pooled odds ratio, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.45-1.70) and periodontal disease (pooled odds ratio, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.43-2.18). There were no associations between preeclampsia and presence of antibodies to Chlamydia pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, and cytomegalovirus, treated and nontreated HIV infection, and malaria. Individual studies did not find a relationship between herpes simplex virus type 2, bacterial vaginosis, and Mycoplasma hominis and preeclampsia. Urinary tract infection and periodontal disease during pregnancy are associated with an increased risk of preeclampsia. More studies are required to verify this as well as to explore whether or not such relationships are causal and, if so, the mechanisms involved.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Obstet Gynecol

Publication Date





7 - 22


Comorbidity, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Incidence, Periodontal Diseases, Pre-Eclampsia, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Complications, Infectious, Pregnancy Outcome, Risk Assessment, Severity of Illness Index, Urinary Tract Infections