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Herpesvirus hominis Infections in the Fetus and the Newborn

James B. Hanshaw, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1973;126(4):546-555. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1973.02110190442018.
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Although Herpesvirus hominis (HVH) has been known as a cause of infection in the newborn period for forty years when Batignani1 observed an infant with isolated keratoconjunctivitis and Hass2 described hepatoadrenal necrosis, the condition has not received a great deal of attention in the literature. Information obtained in the last decade concerning the spectrum of disease, antigenic differences in the oral (type 1) and genital (type 2) strains, and the possibility of antiviral therapy has quickened the interest of medical virologists, pediatricians, and obstetricians in this condition. It is now known that some infants with HVH infections in neonatal life may be asymptomatic or have localized forms of the disease with late central nervous system (CNS) sequelae. It is also recognized that most infections in neonates are due to the genital or type 2 virus, thus reinforcing the concept that transmission to the infant is from contact with


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