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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 5 (1997), Issue 2, Pages 133-141

Pathogenesis of HSV and CMV Infections in Pregnancy

1Laboratoire de Biologie Magenta, 41 Boulevard de Magenta, Paris 75010, France
2Laboratoire de Virologie, Groupe Hospitlier Pitié-Salpétrière, 83 Boulevard de l'Hôpital, Paris Cedex 13 75651, France

Received 1 October 1997; Accepted 21 October 1997

Copyright © 1997 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Human herpesvirus (HHSV) and human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infections during pregnancy are a major concern of public health because of the risk for severe sequelae for the fetuses and the neonates and because primary infections, reinfections and reactivations can be asymptomatic. The risk for neonatal herpes is mostly congenital, while the risk for HCMV infection is either prenatal or congenital. Screening exposed women has not brought definite solutions but is currently being evaluated. Among pregnant women with active infection, evaluation of the fetus for contamination and thus for the risk for severe immediate or long-term sequelae for neonates is the major goal. Diagnostic tools are available, cell culture still being the gold standard, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) being currently evaluated for its contribution to diagnosis of active infection. Consensus for screening pregnant women as well as achievement of antiviral vaccines are the most urgent intervention strategies to develop in the near future.