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Definition of Vertical transmission

Vertical transmission: Passage of a disease-causing agent (pathogen) from mother to baby during the period immediately before and after birth. Transmission might occur across the placenta, in the breast milk, or through direct contact during or after birth. For example, HIV can be a vertically transmitted pathogen. Also known as perinatal transmission.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=7982
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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