TORCH Infections Singapore | Shim Clinic

Help me about TORCH Infections !

TORCH is an acronym for a group of infections that are transmitted vertically from mother to child during the perinatal period. Over time, this group has expanded to include many other infections.

Perinatal infections are passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus.

TORCH infections  can lead to severe fetal anomalies or even fetal loss.

  • T – Toxoplasmosis
  • O – Other infections (see below)
  • R – Rubella
  • C – Cytomegalovirus (HHV-5)
  • H – Herpes simplex virus (HHV-1 & HHV-2)

Other agents are:

  • Syphilis
  • Varicella-Zoster Virus (HHV-3)
  • HIV
  • Coxsackievirus
  • Parvovirus B19

Hepatitis B does not cross the placenta, but may do so during childbirth or amniocentesis.


  • The ToRCH complex-perinatal infections associated with toxoplasma and rubella, cytomegol- and herpes simplex viruses
    Andre J Nahmias1, Kenneth W Walls1, John A Stewart,1, Kenneth L Herrmann1 and William J Flynt Jr.1
    1Emory Univ. Sch. of Med., and Ctr. for Disease Control (CDC), Atlanta, Ga.
    Pediatric Research (1971) 5, 405–406; doi:10.1203/00006450-197108000-00144
    It is difficult in most cases to differentiate clinically among perinatal infections associated with Toxoplasma (To), Rubella (R), Cytomegalovirus (C) and Herpes simplex virus, type 1 or 2 (H). To evaluate this problem, sera submitted to CDC from infants (<2 yrs.) with various abnormalities were tested for all agents in the ToRCH complex, besides those requested by the physician. Antibodies to To, R and C were measured by conventional technics, and antibodies to H type 1 and 2 by microneutralization and IgM fluorescent antibody tests. Interpretation of results were complicated by such factors as prior immunization, blood transfusions and the possible acquisition of antibodies either transplacentally or from a postnatal infection. Nevertheless, serological findings suggested perinatal infection with the ToRCH agents in 61 of 192 cases (37%).


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