Maternal Immunization

Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Aug 15;59(4):560-8. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu327. Epub 2014 May 5.


Maternal immunization has the potential to protect the pregnant woman, fetus, and infant from vaccine-preventable diseases. Maternal immunoglobulin G is actively transported across the placenta, providing passive immunity to the neonate and infant prior to the infant's ability to respond to vaccines. Currently inactivated influenza, tetanus toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccines are recommended during pregnancy. Several other vaccines have been studied in pregnancy and found to be safe and immunogenic and to provide antibody to infants. These include pneumococcus, group B Streptococcus, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and meningococcus vaccines. Other vaccines in development for potential maternal immunization include respiratory syncytial virus, herpes simplex virus, and cytomegalovirus vaccines.

Keywords: diphtheria; influenza; maternal immunization; pertussis; tetanus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections / immunology
  • Bacterial Infections / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Maternally-Acquired*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / methods*
  • Vaccination / methods*
  • Virus Diseases / immunology
  • Virus Diseases / prevention & control*