Maternal Effects of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection during Pregnancy.

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Given the illness and deaths caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection during the first year of life, preventing infant RSV infections through maternal vaccination is intriguing. However, little is known about the extent and maternal effects of RSV infection during pregnancy. We describe 3 cases of maternal RSV infection diagnosed at a US center during winter 2014. Case-patient 1 (26 years old, week 33 of gestation) received a diagnosis of RSV infection and required mechanical ventilation. Case-patient 2 (27 years old, week 34 of gestation) received a diagnosis of infection with influenza A(H1N1) virus and RSV and required mechanical ventilation. Case-patient 3 (21 years old, week 32 of gestation) received a diagnosis of group A streptococcus pharyngitis and RSV infection and was monitored as an outpatient. Clarifying the effects of maternal RSV infection could yield valuable insights into potential maternal and fetal benefits of an effective RSV vaccination program.





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Wheeler, Sarahn M, Sarah Dotters-Katz, R Phillip Heine, Chad A Grotegut and Geeta K Swamy (2015). Maternal Effects of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection during Pregnancy. Emerg Infect Dis, 21(11). pp. 1951–1955. 10.3201/eid2111.150497 Retrieved from

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Sarahn M Wheeler

Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dr. Sarahn M. Wheeler is a practicing maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Wheeler was born and raised in Mt. Laurel, NJ. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University. She completed medical school at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Wheeler went on to residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Wheeler completed her maternal-fetal medicine sup-specialty training at Duke University in June of 2016.

Dr. Wheeler currently serves as Assistant Professor in the Duke University School of Medicine. In this role, Dr. Wheeler is both a practicing clinician and research faculty. in her clinical role, Dr. Wheeler is the director of Duke's Prematurity Prevention Program, a specialty clinic that is geared for women with risk factors for preterm birth.  In her research role, Dr. Wheeler has published several peer-reviewed articles on topics ranging from fetal brain injury to vaccination during pregnancy. Dr. Wheeler’s current research focus is on race disparities in preterm birth. She is actively involved in research to develop interventions to improve utilization of preterm birth prevention therapies.

Dr. Wheeler also serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the OB/GYN department.  In this role she leads efforts to ensure an inclusive environment for the diverse patients, faculty, staff and trainees within Duke OB/GYN.


Sarah K. Dotters-Katz

Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

My passion is for medical education. As a resident, I was recognized for excellence in teaching by the medical students during all four years of my training, and completed the “Resident as Teacher” program during that time as well. I have obtained my Masters of Medical Health Professions Education from Eastern Virginia Medical School from 2016-2017. During that time, I also completed the University of North Carolina Faculty Scholars program and was inducted into the University of North Carolina’s Academy of Educators. My passion for teaching was recognized by medical students and residents alike at UNC, receiving teaching awards from both medical students and residents. In coming to Duke in 2017, I joined the Division of Education as the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Medical Education. I now serve as the Director of Undergraduate Medical Education, where I have the opportunity to work with medical students, physician assistant students and nurse practitioner students on a regular basis as well as help our faculty and residents become better teachers. I am proud and excited to continue to bring energy and enthusiasm for teaching to Duke and help inspire learners to love Obstetrics and Gynecology as much as I do.  


Geeta Krishna Swamy

Haywood Brown, MD Distinguished Professor of Women's Health

Dr. Geeta Swamy, MD, is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, having served as the director of the Duke Perinatal Research Center and Vice Chair for Research and Faculty Development in the Department of ObGyn. She has achieved international acclaim as a clinician researcher and expert in the field of maternal immunization and perinatal infection. As a consultant to the World Health Organization, Dr. Swamy contributes her knowledge to advance international work to evaluate the immunogenicity, safety, and efficacy of vaccines in pregnant women. The American College of ObGyn has grown to be the “collective voice” for women’s health, and Dr. Swamy has been a leader within that organization for the last two decades. She currently serves as the Co-Principal Investigator for the NIH-NIAID Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation (VTEU) and CDC Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment. In addition, she has been a leader at Duke and nationally in promoting a culture of scientific integrity and transparency in research. She has been instrumental in developing and leading the School of Medicine’s research initiatives in administration, regulatory oversight, and compliance. In 2018, she became Vice Dean for Scientific Integrity in the School of Medicine and Associate Vice President for Research for Duke University. In these roles she oversees the Duke Office of Scientific Integrity (DOSI) which houses the Advancing Scientific Integrity, Services, & Training (ASIST) initiative, conflict of interest, clinical quality management, incident response in research, and research misconduct. She also oversees the Duke Office of Research Initiatives, the Duke Health IRB, Office of Research Administration (ORA), and Office of Research Contracts (ORC). 

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