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Herpes simplex Virus 

Herpes simplex Virus
Chapter:
Herpes simplex Virus
Author(s):

Raidan Alyazidi

and Soren Gantt

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190604813.003.0007
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date: 17 September 2019

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2 cause several important syndromes, including congenital and perinatal infections that can cause devastating consequences in newborns (i.e., neonatal HSV). Most neonatal HSV infections are acquired intrapartum in the infected maternal birth canal. Since genital HSV infections are common, neonatal HSV is an important complication in infected women, even if maternal symptoms are absent. As a result of the developmental status of the fetal and newborn immune system, neonatal HSV infection is associated with life-threatening disease. This chapter reviews the clinical presentations of neonatal HSV infection, as well as advances in diagnosis and therapy. Skin vesicles and fever are often absent, which contributes to a delay in initiating effective therapy. Early recognition is key. Despite significant advances in diagnostic testing and antiviral treatment for neonatal HSV, morbidity and mortality remain high and no vaccine is currently available for clinical use.

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