Preventing neonatal herpes infections through maternal immunization

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Pathogens that can infect fetuses and newborns are a major cause of mortality and morbidity, with consequences including microcephaly and seizures.

For herpes simplex virus (HSV) specifically, there is a high probability of neurological complications in neonatal infections. Considering the significant implications of HSV, this Editorial from Future Virology discusses maternal immunization as a strategy for preventing neonatal HSV infection, presenting research dating back to the 1980s in addition to recent discoveries on maternal antibodies.

“For HSV, neurological infection is present in about a third of neonatal HSV infections. Even with antiviral therapy, there is still a high likelihood of permanent neurological abnormalities. […] Despite the multiple failures in the HSV vaccine field, we propose that maternal vaccination aimed at preventing neonatal herpes is feasible.”

Read the full article in Future Virology

 

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