Low incidence of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in women treated with spiramycin for toxoplasma infection
Todros, T., Verdiglione, P., Ogge, G., Paladini, D., Vergani, P., Cardaropoli, S.
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2006; 61: 336-340
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Aims Toxoplasma infection in pregnancy is usually treated with long-term administration of the macrolide spiramycin to prevent fetal malformations. We had empirically observed that treated patients seldom developed pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), a common and severe disorder of pregnancy whose aetiology and pathogenesis are still debated. Some clinical and experimental data suggest that infection could play a role in its development. Methods To test this hypothesis, we studied a cohort of 417 pregnant women treated with spiramycin because of seroconversion for Toxoplasma gondii and 353 low-risk women who did not take any antibiotic during pregnancy. PIH was defined as blood pressure > 140/90 mmHg on two or more occasions, occurring after 20 weeks of gestational age. Results Seventeen (5.2%) women in the control group developed PIH compared with two (0.5%) in the case group. The odds of developing the disease were significantly lower in the treated subjects (odds ratio = 0.092, 95% confidence interval 0.021, 0.399; P < 0.001). Conclusions Our results suggest that antibiotic treatment during pregnancy can reduce the incidence of PIH, thus opening new perspectives in its prevention and therapy.