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Congenital CMV, enteroviruses, human parechovirus and herpes simplex virus are all common causes of severe central nervous system (CNS) infection in neonates. The introduction of screening (i.e. newborn hearing screening programme), integration of molecular syndromic testing (i.e. multiplex polymerase chain reaction assays) and increase in sexually transmitted infections (i.e. anogenital herpes) have contributed to increases in each of these infections over the last decade. However, therapeutic options are highly limited in part due to the lack of epidemiological data informing trials. This review will describe our current understanding of the clinical burden and epidemiology of these severe neonatal CNS infections, outline the novel antiviral and vaccines in the pipeline and suggest future research studies which could help develop new therapeutics.

Original publication




Journal article


Rev Med Virol

Publication Date





CMV, antiviral, enterovirus, herpes simplex virus, parechovirus, vaccine, Infant, Newborn, Humans, Central Nervous System Viral Diseases, Herpesviridae Infections, Enterovirus Infections, Cytomegalovirus Infections, Central Nervous System Infections, Research