What does a positive TORCH test mean, and how might it contribute to low weight gain in newborns?

Expert Answers
kateanswers eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The TORCH test isn't just one test; it's actually a screening for multiple possible infections. These include toxoplasmosis, rubella, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, HIV, and sometimes syphilis. The TORCH test is routinely used to screen infants for infectious disease, and a positive result might indicate that the baby has any one of these conditions.

In order to really understand why this might contribute to your baby's low weight gain, you need to know specifically which infection your baby has tested positive for. Did your baby's physician or nurse say which illness your baby has? Did they offer any treatment recommendations? If not, you should call the hospital where your baby was born or the pediatrician your baby visits and ask what the doctor recommends.

Be sure to keep track of any symptoms your baby might be presenting. How does the baby sleep? Do they eat well? Are they experiencing loose stools or constipation? Does your baby run a fever often? Is there any swelling in the body? Does the baby have a rash?

When infants are unable to put on weight, it is usually the result of not receiving enough food or poor absorption as a result of chronic loose stools. I will provide some links below with full lists of the symptoms of illnesses which are screened for by the TORCH test. Feel free to read these webpages to help you keep track of what symptoms your baby may or may not have, and read about appropriate treatments.




Herpes simplex.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).