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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-12

Swine flu (H1N1 infection): An autoimmune endocrine condition in pregnant females

1 Post Doctoral Study, University of Mumbai, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Mario Lioni Hospital (AMIL), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
3 Roby Institute, Austin, Texas, USA
4 University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA
5 Central Hospital of the Brazilian Army, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
6 School of Dentistry, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Shilpa Shah
Aniket, Prarthna Samaj Road, Vile-parle (East), Mumbai - 400 057
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-344X.149206

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Background: H1N1 infection tends to be more severe in pregnant than nonpregnant women. It is not known whether this is due to hormonal changes during pregnancy and/or immune responses to hormones. Aims: Whether the effect of pregnancy on responses to the H1N1 pandemic is mediated by the effects of immune responses to hormones resulting in anti-hormone antibody production requires investigation. Settings and Design: A prospective study was designed, and H1N1-infected pregnant women were recruited from the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital during the period 2009-2010. Materials and Methods: Differences in the levels of anti-estrogen and anti-progesterone antibodies were determined in H1N1-infected pregnant patients and healthy pregnant and healthy non-pregnant women, using the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay technique. Statistical Analysis: Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 16.0 (SPSS inc, Chicago, USA) software was used for all statistical procedures. Results: Pregnant women showed nonsignificant trends for higher immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM anti-estrogen-antibodies as compared to the healthy non-pregnant women. IgG, IgM, and IgE anti-progesterone-antibodies were also higher in pregnant women than in nonpregnant women, with marginally significant effects for IgG and IgE. H1N1 infection was associated with increased anti-estrogen IgG and IgA relative to healthy pregnant females. Conclusion: Findings about elevated anti-estrogen and anti-progesterone antibodies might improve our understanding of higher susceptibility of pregnant females to swine flu, and thereby lead to better management of this disease.

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