MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Ladhani: Pregnancy was associated with an increased of serious infection by a bacterium called Haemophilus influenzae which is usually associated with respiratory tract infections. Nearly all the H. influenzae were unencapsulated; that is, they did not have an outer sugar capsule which is often required to make the bacterium more virulent. The encapsulated H. influenzae type b (Hib), for example, was the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in your children prior to routine immunisation. We also found that infection with unencapsulated H. influenzae was associated with poor pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriages, stillbirth and premature birth.