Congenital yellow fever virus infection after immunization in pregnancy

J Infect Dis. 1993 Dec;168(6):1520-3. doi: 10.1093/infdis/168.6.1520.


To determine whether yellow fever (YF) vaccine administered in pregnancy causes fetal infection, women who were vaccinated during unrecognized pregnancy in a mass campaign in Trinidad were studied retrospectively. Maternal and cord or infant blood were tested for IgM and neutralizing antibodies to YF and dengue viruses. One of 41 infants had IgM and elevated neutralizing antibodies to YF virus, indicating congenital infection. The infant, the first reported case of YF virus infection after immunization in pregnancy, was delivered after an uncomplicated full-term pregnancy and appeared normal. Congenital dengue 1 infection may have occurred in another case. The frequency of fetal infection and adverse events after such exposure could not be estimated; however, the neurotropism of YF virus for the developing nervous system and the now documented possibility of transplacental infection underscores the admonition that YF vaccination in pregnancy should be avoided.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross Reactions
  • Dengue Virus / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Trinidad and Tobago / epidemiology
  • Viral Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology
  • Yellow Fever / congenital*
  • Yellow Fever / epidemiology
  • Yellow Fever / etiology
  • Yellow fever virus / immunology


  • Viral Vaccines