Vertically Transmitted Herpesvirus Infections

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The importance of recognizing perinatally acquired herpes simplex virus infections is now well understood and recently, increased attention has been devoted by clinicians to the problem of perinatally acquired cytomegalovirus infections. Less commonly, other members of the herpesvirus family may also be transmitted from mother to infant in the perinatal period, causing disease. Future developments of the management of herpesvirus infections will include greater roles for antiviral therapies and vaccines. Expanded use of oral nucleoside antiviral therapies in pregnancy has engendered uncertainty in how best to screen, monitor, and treat women at risk of transmitting the infection. Vaccines against herpesviruses have progressed in clinical trials, and the imminent licensing of such vaccines will further complicate clinical management decisions. As potential therapeutic agents become available, better understanding and recognition of risk factors, and awareness of the clinical presentation of perinatally acquired herpesvirus infections, will be required to maximize satisfactory pregnancy outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-11
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2003



  • Congenital infection
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV)
  • Human herpesvirus type 6 (HHV-6)
  • Human herpesvirus type 7 (HHV-7)
  • Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV)
  • Vaccines
  • Varicella zoster virus (VZV)

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