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Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus Infection

CHERPES, THOMAS L. MD; MATTHEWS, DEAN B. BS; MARYAK, SAMANTHA A. BS

Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology: December 2012 - Volume 55 - Issue 4 - p 938–944
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e31827146a7
Severe Infections in Gynecology

Neonatal herpes, seen roughly in 1 of 3000 live births in the United States, is the most serious manifestation of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection in the perinatal period. Although acyclovir therapy decreases infant mortality associated with perinatal HSV transmission, development of permanent neurological disabilities is not uncommon. Mother-to-neonate HSV transmission is most efficient when maternal genital tract HSV infection is acquired proximate to the time of delivery, signifying that neonatal herpes prevention strategies need to focus on decreasing the incidence of maternal infection during pregnancy and more precisely identifying infants most likely to benefit from prophylactic antiviral therapy.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Supported by the National Institutes of Health Grant R56AI85110.

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

Correspondence: Thomas L. Cherpes, MD, Rangos Research Center, Room 9123, Pittsburgh, PA. E-mail: cherpestl@upmc.edu

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.