Nosocomial herpetic infections in a pediatric intensive care unit

Garrett Adams, Beth Hewitt Stover, Richard A. Keenlyside, Thomas M. Hooton, Timothy G. Buchman, Bernard Roizman, John A. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

A series of acute herpetic infections occurred among nurses and patients in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Epidemiologic study revealed two separate time clusters of infections, one in early summer and another six weeks later. Restriction endonuclease analysis of DNA extracted from virus isolates showed that each time cluster was associated with a different genetic strain of herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 and provided evidence of cross infection between patients and nurses. Three nurses had herpetic whitlow; the husband of one had acute gingivostomatitis; a fourth nurse had acute pharyngitis. They had no previous history of HSV infection and sequential antibody testing of affected nurses showed 19S antibody in all initially positive serums, confirming primary infection. The data provide clear evidence that PICU personnel risk acquiring serious herpetic infections from patients and vice versa unless specific precautions are taken. Restriction endonuclease analysis of HSV DNA was useful in the epidemiologic study of the infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-132
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Volume113
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1981
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cross infection
  • Herpesvirus hominis
  • Intensive care units
  • Nosocomial infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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  • Cite this

    Adams, G., Stover, B. H., Keenlyside, R. A., Hooton, T. M., Buchman, T. G., Roizman, B., & Stewart, J. A. (1981). Nosocomial herpetic infections in a pediatric intensive care unit. American journal of epidemiology, 113(2), 126-132. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a113076