Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Anti-herpes drug reduces need for Caesarean sections in infected women

12.07.2006
Giving an anti-viral drug to pregnant women who have a history of genital herpes significantly lowers the rate of Caesarean sections needed to protect the infant from becoming infected with the virus, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

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.

"I think this will help immensely in giving doctors stronger evidence in using this treatment," said Dr. Jeanne Sheffield, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UT Southwestern and lead author of the study. "Besides reducing the number of herpes outbreaks at birth, we also dropped the numbers of women without symptoms who were shedding the virus into the birth canal."

Herpes, one of the most common sexually transmitted viral infections, causes periods of genital sores, followed by months or years of dormancy. It can't be cured, although the number and severity of outbreaks can be reduced through medication. Many women of reproductive age are unaware that they have the virus.

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!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers image atomic structure of important immune regulator
11.12.2018 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Potential seen for tailoring treatment for acute myeloid leukemia
10.12.2018 | University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electronic evidence of non-Fermi liquid behaviors in an iron-based superconductor

11.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Topological material switched off and on for the first time

11.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

NIST's antenna evaluation method could help boost 5G network capacity and cut costs

11.12.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>