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Congenital means any trait or condition that exists from birth. A congenital disorder may be due to faulty development, infection, or the effects of the mother's exposure to some drugs or other toxic substances during pregnancy. Important examples of congenital disorders include spina bifida, with incomplete development of the spine, and congenital herpes, acquired from the mother during the passage through the birth canal. See also congenital heart defects.

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Source: National Human Genome Research Institute