Scientific article

Postnatal exposure to herpes simplex virus : to treat or not to treat?

Published inThe pediatric infectious disease journal, vol. 40, no. 5S, p. S16-S21
Publication date2021-05-01

Neonatal herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection carries significant morbidity and mortality. In contrast to perinatal exposure, there are no clear guidelines for the management of postnatal HSV exposure. This review focuses on the risk of HSV infection following postnatal exposure and suggests an approach to management. While many infants are protected by transplacentally transferred maternal anti-HSV antibodies, infants of seronegative mothers with significant postnatal HSV exposure may be at risk of severe disease. Individual risk assessment, appropriate investigations, and empiric acyclovir treatment should be considered in postnatally exposed newborns, even if asymptomatic. In all cases, close clinical follow-up is indicated, as well as education of families on the symptoms of neonatal HSV disease. Finally, measures to reduce the risk of postnatal HSV infection should be considered, such as discouraging individuals, particularly those with a history of recurrent cold sores, from kissing newborns.

  • Algorithms
  • Disease Management
  • Herpes Simplex / etiology
  • Herpes Simplex / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / etiology
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / etiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / therapy
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Simplexvirus
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
PITTET, Laure, CURTIS, Nigel. Postnatal exposure to herpes simplex virus : to treat or not to treat? In: The pediatric infectious disease journal, 2021, vol. 40, n° 5S, p. S16–S21. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000002846
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0891-3668

Technical informations

Creation05/12/2023 8:43:49 AM
First validation11/13/2023 4:50:19 PM
Update time11/13/2023 4:50:19 PM
Status update11/13/2023 4:50:19 PM
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