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The most effective method to prevent yellow fever and control the disease is a vaccine made with attenuated live virus. Due to the neurological tropism of the virus, preventive vaccination is not recommended for infants under 6 months and for pregnant women. However there is a paucity of data regarding the safety for pregnant women and there are no experimental studies investigating adverse effects to the offspring after maternal exposure to the vaccine. This study aimed to investigate, in mice, the effects of maternal exposure to the yellow fever vaccine at three different gestational ages on the physical and behavioral development of the offspring. Pregnant Swiss mice received a single subcutaneous injection of water for injection (control groups) or 2 log Plaque Forming Units (vaccine-treated groups) of the yellow fever vaccine on gestational days (GD) 5, 10 or 15. Neither maternal signs of toxicity nor alterations in physical development and reflex ontogeny of the offspring were observed in any of the groups. Data from behavioral evaluation indicated that yellow fever vaccine exposure induced motor hypoactivity in 22-day-old females independent of the day of exposure; and in 60-day-old male and female pups exposed at GD 10. Moreover, 22-day-old females also presented with a deficit in habituation memory. Altogether, these results indicate that in utero exposure to the yellow fever vaccine may induce behavioral alterations in the pups that may persist to adulthood in the absence of observed maternal toxicity or disruption of physical development milestones or reflex ontogeny. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


P Marianno, M J S Salles, A B Sonego, G A Costa, T C Galvão, G Z Lima, E G Moreira. Gestational exposure to yellow fever vaccine at different developmental stages induces behavioral alterations in the progeny. Neurotoxicology and teratology. 2013 Jan-Feb;35:21-7

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PMID: 23277188

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