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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2012, Article ID 385697, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/385697
Review Article

Herpes Simplex Virus Infection in Pregnancy

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Policlinico Abano Terme, 35031 Abano Terme (PD), Italy
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, 00100 Roma, Italy

Received 11 January 2012; Accepted 12 February 2012

Academic Editor: Francesco De Seta

Copyright © 2012 Gianluca Straface et al. 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.

Abstract

Infection with herpes simplex is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. Because the infection is common in women of reproductive age it can be contracted and transmitted to the fetus during pregnancy and the newborn. Herpes simplex virus is an important cause of neonatal infection, which can lead to death or long-term disabilities. Rarely in the uterus, it occurs frequently during the transmission delivery. The greatest risk of transmission to the fetus and the newborn occurs in case of an initial maternal infection contracted in the second half of pregnancy. The risk of transmission of maternal-fetal-neonatal herpes simplex can be decreased by performing a treatment with antiviral drugs or resorting to a caesarean section in some specific cases. The purpose of this paper is to provide recommendations on management of herpes simplex infections in pregnancy and strategies to prevent transmission from mother to fetus.