Persistence of herpes simplex virus DNA in cerebrospinal fluid of neonates with herpes simplex virus encephalitis

A. Mejías, R. Bustos, M. I. Ardura, C. Ramírez, P. J. Sánchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The significance of detecting herpes simplex virus (HSV) DNA in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of infants with HSV encephalitis after receipt of prolonged therapy with high-dose (60 mg kg-1 day-1) acyclovir is unknown. We report the clinical and laboratory characteristics, neuroimaging studies and outcomes of four neonates with HSV encephalitis who had persistence of CSF HSV DNA, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) after 15 to 21 days of high-dose acyclovir therapy. Study Design: Retrospective chart review. Results: All four infants had abnormal neuroimaging studies and subsequently experienced severe developmental delay or death. Conclusion: A persistently positive CSF HSV PCR in neonates may be another risk factor for worse neurodevelopmental outcome. Prospective studies are needed to document how often HSV DNA persists in CSF, elucidate whether it represents an initially high CSF viral load, ongoing viral replication or viral resistance, and determine its possible association with neurodevelopmental impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-296
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 6 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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