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July 9, 1973

Intrauterine Infection With Herpes Simplex VirusResultant Congenital Malformations

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine (Drs. Florman and Gershon), Roosevelt Hospital, New York City (Dr. Blackett), and Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta (Dr. Nahmias).

JAMA. 1973;225(2):129-132. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220290017004

Herpes simplex virus (type 1) was recovered from the cerebrospinal fluid and urine of a 2-month-old infant who had been born with diffuse brain damage and stigmata of intrauterine infection. At 1 month of age, he had microcephaly, intracranial calcifications, and "owl eye" inclusion bodies in his urine. At 3 months, herpes simplex virus was again recovered from his urine and he had IgM antibody specific for herpes simplex virus that persisted until he was 1 year old. When our findings are added to those of the five similar instances known to us, it seems reasonable to include this virus among intrauterine infective agents that may cause such congenital malformation as diffuse brain damage, mental retardation, microcephaly, intracranial calcifications, microophthalmia, retinal dysplasia, and chorioretinitis.