In a study done by scientists of England, congenital eye defects in babies like small eyes or having no eyes at all may be traced back to the maternal infections.
Infections like Rubella in pregnancy are known to cause such birth defects. Now studies have shown that infections such as from Parvovirus and Coxsackie virus may also be responsible for birth defects in newborns.
The researchers have taken the birth details from the England registry, and matched them with the weekly infections data from the Public Health Laboratory Service and Royal College of General Practitioners Weekly Returns Service. The researchers then have matched the infections of the pregnant mothers with the time of pregnancy when the ocular development happens for the fetus to find out the kind of health the pregnant lady was in when her unborn baby's eyes were developed.
The study results confirmed the negative effect of Parvovirus B19 and influenza with development of eyes in the fetus, while Coxsackie virus had showed a positive effect on development of eyes in unborn babies.
The researchers feel that this further strengthens the fact that viral infections of the pregnant mother do affect the babies and more research is required to decide on the course of treatment.