Neonatal herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a rare but devastating disease. We have conducted pooled analyses of data from 3 cohorts to evaluate the effects of maternal HSV serostatus and HSV type on risk of neonatal HSV acquisition and severity.Data from cohorts in Seattle, WA, and Stanford, CA, USA, and Stockholm, Sweden were pooled using Mantel-Haenszel methods.Seventy-eight infants with documented neonatal HSV and known maternal HSV serostatus were included. The risk of neonatal HSV-2 infection was similar in infants born to HSV seronegative women compared with HSV-1 seropositive women (pooled OR: 1.6; 95% CI: 0.6-4.0). The odds of neonatal HSV infection was increased in the presence of exposure to maternal HSV-1 versus HSV-2 (adjusted pooled OR: 19.2; 95% CI: 5.8-63.6). An elevated odds of disseminated HSV in infants born to women with newly acquired genital herpes was observed in Stockholm (OR=13.5; 95% CI: 1.4-630), but not in Seattle or Stanford.Our results suggest that maternal HSV-1 antibody offers little, if any, protection against neonatal HSV-2 infection. During reactivation, HSV-1 appears more readily transmissible to the neonate than HSV-2, a concerning finding given the rising frequency of genital HSV-1 infection.
View details for DOI 10.1080/00016340601151949
View details for Web of Science ID 000247237400003
View details for PubMedID 17464578