Infections are dangerous for any person, even absolutely healthy. And for women in the position they are all the more dangerous. Therefore, gynecologists always emphasize that women plan their pregnancy and pass tests for TORCH infections in advance. Why is it so important, and what do the results of such research mean?
Briefly about diseases
Such infections are also called TORCH-complex. It includes four diseases. These are toxoplasmosis (MOT), rubella (R), cytomegalovirus infection (C), herpes (H). Syphilis, gonococcal infection, HIV, trichomoniasis are not included in the above complex.
What is it dangerous during pregnancy? Infection with herpes simplex virus leads to miscarriage, polyhydramnios, prenatal developmental pathologies, and stillbirths. If we are talking about the primary episode of herpes in carrying a baby, the risk of its transmission to the fetus is up to 50%.
Toxoplasmosis leads to spontaneous abortions and premature birth, hydrocephalus, thrombocytopenia.
When a woman becomes infected with the rubella virus for up to 16 weeks of gestation, fetal death in the womb, defects in the development of the cardiovascular system, and macrocephaly are observed.
Infection with cytomegalovirus up to 12 weeks leads to congenital deformities, miscarriages, cerebral palsy, damage to the organs of sight and hearing. If the infection occurs in the second or third trimester of the term, it can manifest itself as hepatitis, retinitis, pneumonia.
It is worth knowing that the greatest danger when carrying a baby is precisely the primary infection of TORCH-infections. If it occurred in women before pregnancy (and this is determined by the presence of class G antibodies in the blood), then the percentage of complications is small.
About checking future mothers for TORCH infection
The main purpose of diagnosis is to identify seronegative pregnant women, that is, those women who do not detect protective IgG antibodies. They must take special precautions constantly, until delivery. Future mothers with primary identified infections should be treated by a gynecologist and an infectious diseases specialist. If in the blood of a pregnant woman, protective antibodies of class G to the above infections are detected, then such patients cannot be treated.
How are women tested for TORCH infections? Testing is carried out by enzyme immunoassay (ELISA) with the detection of antibodies to infections in serum. At the same time, detection of early class M and late class G antibodies plays a role.
Of course, few women pass such tests at the planning stage of pregnancy. Therefore, in Russia, such studies are carried out at the first appeal of the future mother to an obstetrician-gynecologist in accordance with the order of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation from
About decoding the analysis of TORCH infection
So, the essence of the procedure lies in the determination of immunoglobulins (antibodies) to a group of infections. Antibodies are protective proteins of the immune system. They are formed in the female body when ingested by foreign substances. Immunoglobulins are indicated by an Ig icon. For TORCH infections, it is common to use IgG and IgM antibodies.
IgM antibodies indicate an acute phase of the disease. Sometimes these immunoglobulins for a long time after the initial infection in the body are saved. To determine how long a future mother is infected, compare the result of the detection of IgM and IgG. The increase in the latter suggests that the female body in the past has already met with such an infection and has developed immunity.
Under laboratory conditions, the qualitative and quantitative presence of IgG and IgM antibodies is determined for each TORCH infection.
So, if as a result of the analysis there are no IgG and IgM antibodies, then this means that the woman does not have immunity to this infection, and the organism has not met with it before. With a negative IgG value and a positive IgM state a recent infection, that is, the onset of the disease. When the value of both antibodies is positive, it means an acute stage of the disease and the risk of intrauterine infection.
If the analysis shows IgG +, and IgM-, it means that in the past the organism had already met with a viral ailment and developed immunity. That is, there is no threat to the baby.