Intrauterine herpes simplex virus infections

Cecelia Hutto, Ann Arvin, Richard Jacobs, Russell Steele, Sergio Stagno, Raymond Lyrene, Lynne Willett, Dwight Powell, Richard Andersen, Joe Werthammer, Gilbert Ratcliff, Andre Nahmias, Cynthia Christy, Richard Whitley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

250 Scopus citations


Neonatal herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection is usually acquired at birth, although a few infants have had findings suggestive of intrauterine infection. We describe 13 babies who had clinical manifestations of intrauterine HSV infection, including skin lesions and scars at birth (12), chorioretinitis (eight), microcephaly (seven), hydranencephaly (five), and microphthalmia (two). All infants had combinations of these defects. Infection was proved by viral isolation in each case; all isolates were HSV-2. Two infants died during the first week of life; 10 of the surviving infants had severe neurologic sequelae, and one infant was blind. Four mothers experienced an apparent primary genital HSV infection, and one had recurrent infection, at varying times during gestation. The remaining women denied a history of symptoms of genital HSV infection. These findings indicate that intrauterine HSV infection can occur as a consequence of either primary or recurrent maternal infection and has severe consequences for the fetus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-101
Number of pages5
JournalThe Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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