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Preventing Neonatal Transmission of Herpes Simplex Virus

JAIYEOBA, OLUWATOSIN MD*,†; AMAYA, MICHELLE I. MD, MPH; SOPER, DAVID E. MD*,†; KILBY, J. MICHAEL MD, FACP

Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology: June 2012 - Volume 55 - Issue 2 - p 510–520
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e31824defdb
Prevention of Infection in the Obstetric Patient

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections are highly prevalent and may have devastating consequences if transmitted to newborns. The highest risk of transmission is when the mother has primary HSV infection (rather than recurrence of chronic infection) late in pregnancy. Clinicians should obtain a careful history, performing serologic testing and counseling as appropriate. Delayed diagnosis of neonatal HSV is associated with high mortality. Even with adequate treatment, permanent sequelae, such as cerebral palsy and developmental delay, may occur. Clinicians should develop prudent strategies to avoid primary HSV acquisition during pregnancy, and provide prophylaxis or treatment when indicated.

Departments of *Obstetrics and Gynecology

Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases;

Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

Correspondence: J. Michael Kilby, MD, FACP, 135 Rutledge Avenue, P.O. Box MSC 752, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425–7520. E-mail: mkilby@musc.edu

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.