Gestational Antibodies to C. pneumoniae, H. pylori and CMV in Women with Preeclampsia and in Matched Controls

Abdul Wajid, David Todem, Mark R. Schleiss, David F. Colombo, Nigel S. Paneth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Some research has suggested a possible role for past infection in the development of preeclampsia. The objective of this study was to explore the role of Helicobacter pylori, cytomegalovirus, and Chlamydophila pneumoniae in the development of preeclampsia in a prospective pregnancy sample. Methods: We conducted a nested case-control study in The Archive for Child Health (ARCH), a pregnancy cohort of 867 unselected women enrolled at the first prenatal visit with archived blood and urine in pregnancy. We matched 21 cases of preeclampsia to 52 unaffected controls on maternal age (±4 years), race, parity, and gestational age at blood draw. Using conditional logistic regression, we examined the association between preeclampsia status and immunoglobulins G (IgG) tested by indirect ELISA to each of the three microorganisms, adjusting for potential confounders. Results: No significant difference was found between cases and controls. The unadjusted odds ratio was 1.5 (95%CI: 0.2–9.1), 0.6 (95%CI: 0.2–1.9), and 1.9 (95%CI: 0.6–5.6) for H. pylori, cytomegalovirus and C. pneumoniae respectively. After controlling for confounders analysis found increased odds of H.pylori IgG (AOR: 1.9; 95% CI: 0.2-15.3) and C. pneumoniae IgG (AOR: 2.3; 95% CI: 0.6-9.2) for preeclampsia, albeit being not significant. Conversely, cytomegalovirus IgG had lower odds for preeclampsia (AOR: 0.4; 95% CI: 0.1-1.7). Conclusions: Past infection with H. pylori, and C. pneumoniae in early pregnancy showed a higher risk of preeclampsia, but the findings failed to achieve statistical significance. Cytomegalovirus was not associated with preeclampsia in these data. These preliminary findings encourage future research in populations with high prevalence of these infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMaternal and child health journal
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
PhD Dissertation Writing Grant awarded to the corresponding author by the College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. Support from NIH R01 HD098866 (MRS) is acknowledged. The funder had no role in the conduct and writing of the research report.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Nested case-control study
  • Preeclampsia


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