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Neurology Research International
Volume 2012, Article ID 102153, 6 pages
Review Article

Infection-Induced Vulnerability of Perinatal Brain Injury

1Department of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, P.O. Box 432, 40530 Göteborg, Sweden
2Department of Pediatrics, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450052, China

Received 7 September 2011; Accepted 5 October 2011

Academic Editor: Jianrong Li

Copyright © 2012 Carina Mallard and Xiaoyang Wang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A growing body of evidence demonstrates that susceptibility and progression of both acute and chronic central nervous system disease in the newborn is closely associated with an innate immune response that can manifest from either direct infection and/or infection-triggered damage. A common feature of many of these diseases is the systemic exposure of the neonate to bacterial infections that elicit brain inflammation. In recent years, the importance of innate immune receptors in newborn brain injury, the so-called Toll-like receptors, has been demonstrated. In this paper we will discuss how neonatal sepsis, with particular emphasis on Escherichia coli, coagulase-negative staphylococci, and group B streptococcal infections in preterm infants, and Toll-like receptor-mediated inflammation can increase the vulnerability of the newborn brain to injury.