How is it to malformations in babies?

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Within a few weeks, several babies with malformations are in Germany at the hands of the world. Coincidence? Maybe. The child and youth practitioner Fred Zepp explains the possible causes.

DW: Within a few weeks, three children with very similar malformations have come in to a clinic in Gelsenkirchen, Germany at, respectively, a Hand to the world. What is in these three specific cases the causes are, white so far none. But generally speaking, What can be the causes for such false image?

Fred Zepp: A possible cause is a genetic predisposition that can lead to such undesirable developments on the arms or legs. The is often associated with other developmental disorders of the skeleton such as the spine.

External influences can of course also be a reason, especially if you act in the early stages of pregnancy, i.e. up to the twelfth week of the Embryo. At this time , the so-called “embryonic period”, are created all the organs in the human body. If something acts, it can lead to developmental disorders.

What could cause developmental disorders?

Drugs, for example. Very well known is the thalidomide cases of the late 1950s are. This was prescribed as a sedative and does not interfere with the development of the extremities of inter. A similar effect could have drugs that affect the blood circulation of the embryo – the blood vessels constrict and so to a reduction in blood supply.

Thalidomide in the 50s, to severe malformations of the arms of newborns

Also environmental toxins might play a role, since we know nothing More. In France, for example, the effects of pesticides are discussed. Is proved since, however, nothing.

A further possibility of infections during pregnancy, the cords to the formation of small scars strands, so-called “Amnion are able to” lead. In the worst case, so a string can pinch off a limb. This is often recognizable in the newborn, because it actually looks as if the limb had been disconnected with a Band.

And something can be triggered by a normal flu infection?

Yes, this is possible. Normally, our immune system eliminates the micro-organisms during an infection in our body. It becomes dangerous when the pathogens from the urinary tract of the Pregnant tract Hiking up in the amniotic SAC. Viral infections such as rubella or herpes virus could be the cause, as well toxoplasmosis parasite.

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Enigmatic Zika Virus

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Enigmatic Zika Virus

Against rubella, a woman should be vaccinated before pregnancy, but herpes infections are not necessarily avoidable. These viruses, we may have moved someday during a flu, and we got rid of them since then. There are so-called “latent viruses”, which can be reactivated in the course of our lives. Most of the cytomegalovirus infection are diseases [Anm triggered by the Human Herpesvirus 5 (HHV 5). d. Red.] in Pregnant women with no infections, but Reactivation of herpes viruses. This is the remaining risk in a pregnancy, it happens very rarely.

Back to the cases in Gelsenkirchen: How to find out what the exact causes of the malformations of these three babies are?

The colleagues in Gelsenkirchen with the Charité in Berlin, where it deals scientifically with the Pregnant woman and the expectant life-affecting, damaging circumstances and risks. A step will be to examine the respective special terms and conditions of this three pregnancies. Maybe the children will be examined, provided, of course, that the parents want. Is there anything striking? Have taken certain drugs? The environment In which the families live? Thus, according to the similarities, according to a so-called “Cluster” will be searched.

Probably will be made – provided that the parents agree to a genetic test in children. We know of some genetic predispositions that are associated with the malformation of extremities. The cases in Gelsenkirchen can be a sign of a similar Background, or even pure coincidence.

The Neonatologist and a specialist in child and adolescent medicine Prof. Dr. Fred Zepp is Director of the center for children and youth medicine of the University hospital in Mainz, Germany.

The Interview was conducted by Julia Vergin.


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