The UT Southwestern study is the first large-scale confirmation that the drug valacyclovir hydrochloride (Valtrex) is effective in the last month of pregnancy, the researchers said. The study appears in this month's issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.
In rare cases, infants can catch herpes simplex virus from the birth canal or genital region of the mother during birth, even when the mother isn't showing symptoms. Current medical protocol is to offer C-sections to all women with active genital herpes lesions at the time of delivery. Nonetheless, 70 percent of neonatal herpes cases occur in infants of women who asymptomatically shed the virus near delivery, according to the researchers.
"The whole goal of this study was to reduce active genital herpes lesions at delivery that require a Caesarean delivery to prevent neonatal herpes," Dr. Sheffield said.
The UT Southwestern study, which involved 338 pregnant women with a history of genital herpes, was a randomized, double-blind trial, with neither the doctors nor the women knowing who was getting the medication.
Twenty-eight women had C-sections because of active herpes lesions. Seven of the 170 women in the valacyclovir group, or 4 percent, had the operation, while 21 of the 168 women in the placebo group, or 13 percent, had C-sections. The 69 percent reduction in the rate of clinical herpes simplex virus at the time of delivery was statistically significant, the researchers said.
None of the babies in either group were born with herpes. There also were no differences in complications between the valacyclovir and placebo groups.
"This work is a good example of a well-designed study that is of sufficient size to help clinicians and patients have confidence in the efficacy and safety of anti-viral suppression in late pregnancy," said Dr. George Wendel, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and senior author of the study.
Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study were Dr. Vanessa Laibl, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology; Dr. Scott Roberts, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology; and Dr. Pablo Sanchez, professor of pediatrics.
The work was supported in part by GlaxoSmithKline.
Aline McKenzie | EurekAlert!
Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications
Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine