Herpes simplex virus types 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2) are highly prevalent viruses capable of establishing lifelong infection. Genital herpes in women of childbearing age represents a major risk for mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HSV infection, with primary and first-episode genital HSV infections posing the highest risk. The advent of antiviral therapy with parenteral acyclovir has led to significant improvement in neonatal HSV disease mortality. Further studies are needed to improve the clinician's ability to identify infants at increased risk for HSV infection and prevent MTCT, and to develop novel antiviral agents with increased efficacy in infants with HSV infection.
Keywords: Antiviral therapy; Genital herpes; Herpes simplex virus; Mother-to-child transmission; Neonatal herpes; Polymerase chain reaction; Pregnancy.
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