Briefly about the diseases
Such infections are also called the TORCH-complex. It includes four diseases. These are toxoplasmosis (TO), rubella (R), cytomegalovirus infection (C), herpes (H). Syphilis, gonococcal infection, HIV, trichomoniasis are not included in the above complex.
What it is dangerous in pregnancy? Infection with the herpes simplex virus leads to miscarriage, polyhydramnios, intrauterine growth pathologies, stillbirth. If it is a primary episode of herpes in the bearing of a baby, then the risk of its transmission to the fetus is up to 50%.
Toxoplasmosis leads to spontaneous abortions and premature birth, hydrocephalus, thrombocytopenia.
If a woman is infected with a rubella virus for up to 16 weeks of pregnancy, fetal death, defects in the development of the cardiovascular system, macrocephaly are observed. Infection with cytomegalovirus up to 12 weeks leads to congenital malformations, miscarriages, cerebral palsy, lesions of the eyes, hearing. If the infection occurs in the second or third trimester of the term, then it can manifest as hepatitis, retinitis, pneumonia.
It is worth knowing that the greatest danger in bearing a baby is the primary infection of TORCH infections. If it occurs in women before the onset of pregnancy (and this is determined by the presence of antibodies in the blood of class G), the complication rate is small.
About checking future mothers for TORCH infection
The main purpose of the diagnosis is to identify seronegative pregnant women, that is, those women who do not have protective IgG antibodies. They must observe special precautions constantly, until the delivery. Future mothers with newly diagnosed infections are to be treated by a gynecologist and infectious disease specialist. If protective G-class antibodies are detected in the blood of the pregnant woman to the above infections, then such patients are not eligible for treatment.
How do women test for TORCH infection? Testing is carried out by the method of enzyme immunoassay (ELISA) with the detection of antibodies to infections in the blood serum. In this case, the detection of early antibodies of class M and late G class plays a role.
Of course, few women undergo such testing at the stage of pregnancy planning. Therefore, in Russia, such studies are conducted at the first referral of the future mother to the obstetrician-gynecologist in accordance with the order of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation of 10.02.2003.
On deciphering the analysis of TORCH infection
So, the essence of the procedure is to determine immunoglobulins (antibodies) to a group of infections. Antibodies are protective proteins of the immune system. They are formed in the female body when foreign substances enter it. The immunoglobulins are designated Ig. For TORCH infections it is common to use IgG and IgM antibodies.
IgM antibodies indicate an acute phase of the disease. Sometimes these immunoglobulins remain for a long time after the primary infection in the body. To determine how long the future mother is infected, the result of the detection of IgM and IgG is compared. The increase of the latter indicates that the female body has already met with such an infection in the past and developed immunity.
In the laboratory, the qualitative and quantitative presence of IgG and IgM antibodies is determined for each TORC infection.
So, if as a result of the analysis there are no antibodies IgG and IgM, it means that the woman has no immunity to this infection, and the body did not meet with her before. With a negative IgG and positive IgM, a recent infection, i.e., the onset of the disease, is documented. 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-, then in the past the body with a viral disease has already met and developed immunity. That is, there is no threat to the baby.