High-risk pregnancies occur frequently, and have multiple causes. It is estimated that 10 to 20 percent of pregnant women miscarry during their first trimester of pregnancy. Slow fetal growth may also arise as a result of maternal infection with certain microbes, parasites or viruses (such as toxoplasmosis or infection with rubella virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes or Zika) or because of genetic or autoimmune diseases. Teams from the Institut Pasteur, the CNRS, Inserm, Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital (AP-HP) and Université de Paris have identified a new cellular mechanism that alters placental development, potentially causing serious complications during pregnancy. The mechanism is linked with the production of interferon, a molecule produced in response to infection, especially viral infection. The findings are published in Science on July 11, 2019.