The abrupt changes in biology and physiology that occur when the body responds to infection, especially in childhood, are an important research subject at the moment. Researchers have established links between the onset of depression, psychosis, and obsessive-compulsive disorder and our body's natural immune response.
But some effects may occur even before birth. Pregnant women could react to infection in a way that influences their baby’s developing brain. Such immune responses could lead to atypical neural development in their child resulting in conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder.