An 18-year old high school teenager who did not know she was pregnant, gave birth to an approximately 30-week old fetus. The baby was delivered at 35% less than the normal birth weight at 30-weeks with birth defects including medical abnormalities of the liver, spleen, and lungs. The skin of the baby presented with purplish splotchy appearance. Due to the abnormalities of the lungs and other organs the baby was placed in an incubator in an ICU unit, while the mother was held over for extended observation. The baby suffered 3 bouts of Grand Mals seizures prior to death at 2.5 weeks old. Upon giving a medical history, the teenager admits to being sexually active throughout the term of her pregnancy with 3 different male sexual partners. She reports had a long 4 to 6 week bout of fever, sore salivary glands, and a sore throat during the pregnancy for which she never sought medical attention, and eventually dissipated on their own without the aid of antibiotics or other anti-inflammatory medications. The teenager did not take prenatal vitamin supplements, and admits to eating a less than well rounded diet consisting primarily of fast food. The teenager did not participate in illegal street drug use, but she admits to smoking and drinking during the pregnancy. She also participated in strenuous exercise routines as part of a sports training program associated with her school.
The chief resident looks over this case and the information provided by the teenager the next day and immediately orders general blood screens for herpes viruses to be conducted on the teenager before her release from the hospital. The test came back positive.
Questions to be answered in your essay (3-4pages):
1) Which Herpes virus?
2) Why? Explain why the doctor orders tests for herpes viruses based on the teenagers symptoms, and the defects and abnormalities of the baby.
3) What could this mean in terms of explaining the abnormalities of the child? How would this relate to the symptoms described for the teenage mother?
4) Wait…this is toxicology, not epidemiology…so, what class of toxicant could this be? Why? Describe 3 other specific examples of this class of toxicant and describe their modes of action and effects on pregnancy and fetal development?