West Nile Placenta

Faculty research encompasses both clinical and basic arenas. The research interests of P. Ronald Clisham, M.D. include the study of menopause with respect to developing new and safe methods for hormone replacement. He is also studying the utility of x-ray and ultrasound technology for the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.

Gabriella Pridjian, M.D., M.B.A., Chairman of the Department, holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Pediatrics and is a member of the Human Genetics Program, Hayward Genetics Center. Her areas of research include management of maternal PKU and prevention of fetal embryopathy due to uncontrolled maternal PKU. In conjunction with researchers in the School of Public Health, she is studying the effects of Hurricane Katrina on pregnancy outcome.

Along with Ob-Gyn Research Scientist, Kenneth F. Swan, M.S.,  and in collaboration with the Department of Tropical Medicine, Center for Infectious Diseases, Dr. Pridjian is also exploring the effects of West Nile virus infection during pregnancy. This is an ongoing study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC. This study involves both clinical and basic science research. The clinical side involves the study of women who are pregnant and become infected with West Nile virus. Problems occurring during their pregnancy due to West Nile infection, along with the body's inflammatory response will be noted and investigated. Children from these pregnancies will be given Bayley's Developmental Assessment Exam along with an eye exam between the ages of 18-36 months. Cord blood will be tested at birth for IgM antibodies to determine if the virus had crossed the placenta during pregnancy and infected the child. Also at birth a small portion of the placenta, fetal membranes and umbilical cord will be collected for the basic science arm of the study. These tissues will be tested for virus in IgM positive cord blood samples, along with an analysis of inflammatory and pregnancy associated genes. This study also involves the co-cultures of human placental trophoblast cells with West Nile virus. Foremost, at the end of this study, the CDC would like to have in place clinical recommendations for the care of infected pregnant women and their children.

Selected Publications

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2010 May;19(5):877-84. Loss of resources and hurricane experience as predictors of postpartum depression among women in southern Louisiana. Ehrlich M, Harville E, Xiong X, Buekens P, Pridjian G, Elkind-Hirsch K.

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2010 May 12. Preterm birth after mature fetal lung indices: is there any neonatal morbidity? Dola C, Tran T, Linhuber AM, Cierny J, Denicola N, Chong E, Bhuiyan A.

J Natl Med Assoc. 2010 Mar;102(3):199-205. Relationship among age, race, medical funding, and cervical cancer survival. Federico C, Alleyn J, Dola C, Tafti S, Galandak J, Jacob C, Bhuiyan A, Cheng J.

Womens Health Issues. 2010 Jan-Feb;20(1):20-7. Resilience after hurricane Katrina among pregnant and postpartum women. Harville EW, Xiong X, Buekens P, Pridjian G, Elkind-Hirsch K.

J Periodontol. 2009 Nov;80(11):1742-9. Periodontal disease is associated with gestational diabetes mellitus: a case-control study. Xiong X, Elkind-Hirsch KE, Vastardis S, Delarosa RL, Pridjian G, Buekens P.

Matern Child Health J. 2009 Jun 25. Hurricane Katrina-Related Maternal Stress, Maternal Mental Health, and Early Infant Temperament. Tees MT, Harville EW, Xiong X, Buekens P, Pridjian G, Elkind-Hirsch K.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2009 Jun 8;9:21. Postpartum mental health after Hurricane Katrina: a cohort study. Harville EW, Xiong X, Pridjian G, Elkind-Hirsch K, Buekens P.

Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2009;2009:827405. Postoperative infectious morbidities of cesarean delivery in human immunodeficiency virus-infected women. Cavasin H, Dola T, Uribe O, Biswas M, Do M, Bhuiyan A, Dery M, Dola C.

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2009 Mar;22(3):269-73. Pregnancy outcomes following placement of elective, urgent and emergent cerclage. Nelson L, Dola T, Tran T, Carter M, Luu H, Dola C.

Am J Med Sci. 2008 Aug;336(2):111-5. Exposure to Hurricane Katrina, post-traumatic stress disorder and birth outcomes. Xiong X, Harville EW, Mattison DR, Elkind-Hirsch K, Pridjian G, Buekens P.


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