Original Publication Date: 27 December, 2017
Publication / Source: Future Virology
Authors: Yike Jiang & David Leib
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.”