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April 24, 1967

Prevention of Neonatal Herpes Infection

JAMA. 1967;200(4):350. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120170122044

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To the Editor:—  We read with interest the report of Nahmias et al (199:164, 1967), "Neonatal Herpes Simplex Infection." We have had some experience with similar infections, although to documentation of all aspects in mother and baby is not always possible. We agree with most of the recommendations made but would add one simple additional point.Herpes antibody is a very effective neutralizer of most of the free virus particles. We have made it a practice to swab the newborn infant with a dilute solution of γ-globulin known to contain herpes antibodies, with the idea of immediately reducing the infectious burden in the vicinity of the newborn baby. Further procedures would then be followed as described in the article. This method has not been tested in any controlled studies but seems to be reasonable, inexpensive, and potentially very efficacious. We have routinely used γ-globulin 1:-100 in saline solution for