Neonatal sepsis: A, B, C--don't ever forget herpes

Lucy Fitzgerald, Diluki Kevitiyagala, Steve Gould, Stanley Zengeya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A 5-day-old male presents to the emergency department septic and jaundiced, is resuscitated and started on broad spectrum intravenous antibiotics. However tragically in this case despite showing initial signs of stabilisation, he deteriorated with refractory metabolic acidosis and disseminated intravascular coagulation, and later passed away. At postmortem, disseminated herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) was found. Paediatricians are well aware of the risk factors for bacterial neonatal sepsis and actively seek information from parents to identify those children at risk. When however should a viral aetiology be considered? Should all neonates receive empirical therapy until proven otherwise? The authors review the literature surrounding neonatal HSV infection and discuss the potential pitfalls of empirical treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Case Reports
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2011


  • Fatal Outcome
  • Herpes Simplex
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Sepsis
  • Case Reports
  • Journal Article


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