Impact of HIV-1 infection on the feto-maternal crosstalk and consequences for pregnancy outcome and infant health

Semin Immunopathol. 2016 Nov;38(6):727-738. doi: 10.1007/s00281-016-0578-9. Epub 2016 Jul 8.


Adaptation of the maternal immune system to establish maternal/fetal equilibrium is required for a successful pregnancy. Viral infections, including HIV-1 infection, can alter this maternal/fetal equilibrium, with significant consequences for pregnancy outcome, including miscarriages, impaired fetal growth, and premature delivery. Furthermore, maternal HIV-1 infection has been shown to have a long-term impact on the developing fetal immune system also when the infant is not infected with the virus. In this review, we discuss the consequences of maternal HIV-1 infection and antiretroviral therapy on pregnancy outcome and the health of the uninfected HIV-1-exposed infant.

Keywords: HIV-1; Immune activation; Infant; MTCT; Pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active / adverse effects
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active / methods
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immune System / cytology
  • Immune System / drug effects
  • Immune System / immunology
  • Immune System / metabolism
  • Immunomodulation / drug effects
  • Infant
  • Infant Health*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Maternal Exposure / adverse effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Premature Birth / immunology
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects