The incidence of neonatal herpes infection.

Research paper by Nichole N Mahnert, Scott W SW Roberts, Vanessa R VR Laibl, Jeanne S JS Sheffield, George D GD Wendel

Indexed on: 01 May '07Published on: 01 May '07Published in: American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology


The incidence of perinatal transmission of neonatal herpes infection has recently been reported at 1 in 3200 births. The main objective of this study was to determine a population-based incidence of neonatal herpes simplex virus infection.This was a retrospective chart review of newborn infants presenting with herpes infection established by cerebrospinal fluid polymerase chain reaction or lesion culture between 1999 and 2003. Only infants delivered at our institution were considered to establish a population-based incidence.Four cases of neonatal herpes infection were identified based on polymerase chain reaction and culture diagnosis. During the study period 78,115 infants were delivered at our institution yielding an incidence of 1 in 20,000 live births.The incidence of neonatal herpes infection at our institution is lower than reported elsewhere. A national surveillance program of neonatal herpes is needed to measure the burden of disease across the United States.