Managing varicella zoster infection in pregnancy
Carolyn Gardella, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor, University of Washington, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Women’s Health, Seattle
Zane A. Brown, MD
Professor, University of Washington Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Perinatology, Seattle
Address: Carolyn Gardella, MD, MPH, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington Medical Center, Box 356460, Seattle, WA 98195-6460; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The authors both are on the speakers’ bureau for GlaxoSmithKline. Their work is supported in part by grant A1-30731 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
ABSTRACTVaricella zoster virus (VZV) infection can be serious for pregnant women and their babies, although it is rare. The implications of primary VZV infection vary with the gestational age at infection. For the mother, the risk of severe illness is greatest after mid-pregnancy, when she is relatively immunocompromised. For the fetus, the risk of congenital infection is greatest when maternal infection occurs in the first or second trimester. Maternal infection is preventable by preconception vaccination.