Congenital rubella cataract: a timely reminder in the new millennium?

Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2006 Jan-Feb;34(1):83-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.2006.01124.x.


Maternal infection with rubella in the first trimester is an important cause of congenital cataract. Any injury affecting the foetus following maternal rubella infection in the phase of organogenesis results in congenital defects collectively termed as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). Although rubella embryopathy is a less common cause for congenital cataract than in the past, it is still seen. The number of cases reduced to one in 1997 after which there were no new cases till 2002. However, there have been two new cases of CRS in 2003. Herein another one in early 2004 is reported. Outbreaks of CRS will continue until the percentage of susceptible individuals is reduced to a minimum through immunization. The majority of rubella cases in Australia are confined to young female immigrants, many coming for marriage. We must continue to immunize children, identify and immunize vaccine failures and susceptible women before they become pregnant, and to screen pregnant women so they can be vaccinated after delivery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cataract / congenital*
  • Cataract / virology
  • Cataract Extraction
  • DNA, Viral
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lens, Crystalline / virology
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious*
  • Rubella Syndrome, Congenital / diagnosis*
  • Rubella Syndrome, Congenital / virology
  • Rubella virus / isolation & purification
  • Vitrectomy


  • DNA, Viral