Neonatal Viral Infections: Enteroviruses and Respiratory Syncytial Virus
The detection and identification of viral infections in newborns have been greatly improved by the recent development of rapid and highly sensitive diagnostic methods, particularly polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques. Most common clinical presentations of viral infection are sepsis-like illness, prolonged seizures, respiratory disease, gastrointestinal disease, and NEC-like syndrome. Enterovirus and Parechovirus (EV/PeV) infections are the most frequently diagnosed infections in newborns and are responsible for the highest mortality. These infections can lead to myocarditis, meningitis, and encephalitis and may cause severe cardiac and neurological sequelae. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) ranks second as incidence, especially during winter. RSV may cause a severe bronchiolitis or pneumonia especially in preterm infants. Palivizumab is a monoclonal antibody which may reduce the burden of RSV-related disease. Palivizumab prophylaxis is recommended in premature infants below 35 weeks of gestational age, in infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), and in infants with severe congenital heart disease in the first year of life.
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