The placenta is a unique mixed organ, composed of both maternal and fetal tissues, that is formed only during pregnancy and serves as the key physiological and immunological barrier preventing maternal-fetal transmission of pathogens. Several viruses can circumvent this physical barrier and enter the fetal compartment, resulting in miscarriage, preterm birth, and birth defects, including microcephaly. The mechanisms underlying viral strategies to evade the protective role of placenta are poorly understood. Here, we reviewed the role of trophoblasts and Hofbauer cells in the placenta and have highlighted characteristics of vertical and perinatal infections caused by a wide range of viruses. Moreover, we explored current progress and future opportunities in cellular targets, pathogenesis, and underlying biological mechanisms of congenital viral infections, as well as novel research models and tools to study the placenta.
|Publication status||Published - 2019 Dec 18|
- Congenital infection
- Hofbauer cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases