From abortion-inducing medications to Zika Virus Syndrome: 27 years experience of the First Teratogen Information Service in Latin America

Abstract In 1990, the first Teratogen Information Service in Brazil (SIAT) was implemented in the Medical Genetics Service at Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre. SIAT is a free-to-use information service both to health professionals and the general population, especially to women who are pregnant or planning pregnancy. The main objective of this paper is to present the activities of SIAT in its initial years (1990-2006), compared to those in the last decade (2007-2017). In addition we review the scientific contribution of SIAT in the field of human teratogenesis. Since 1990, SIAT received 10,533 calls. Use of medications were the main reason for concern, accounting for 74% of all questions, followed by other chemical exposures (occupational, cosmetics, environmental), and maternal infectious diseases. Among its main contributions to scientific knowledge was the collaboration for the identification of two new human teratogens: misoprostol in the 1990s and Zika virus in 2015/16. In conclusion, SIAT is still evolving, as is the Medical Genetics Service that hosts it. Through its 27 years of existence more than 300 undergraduate and graduate students have rotated at SIAT. Presently, SIAT is expanding the research to experimental teratogenesis and to investigation of molecular mechanisms of teratogens.