A new study shows severe infection during pregnancy increases the risk of having a child with autism.
This is according to two studies by MIT and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Led by two Korean American authors, the studies show that when pregnant women suffer an infection that requires hospitalization, her child is at higher risk of autism.
The research on mice found an immune reaction during pregnancy could increase the risk, as a kind of bacteria in the gut reduces the immune system's ability to protect a fetus' brain.
The study was published in the scientific journal "Nature" on Wednesday.