Neonatal herpes simplexvirus (HSV)infectionproduces severediseasewith unacceptablemorbid-ity and mortality with current antiviral therapies. The effect of therapy with passive anti-HSV antibody and acyclovirwas evaluated using a guinea pig model of neonatal HSV. Newbornanimals were inoculated intranasally and treated with acyclovir (60 mglkglday) or antibody (or both), beginningon days 0, 2, or 3 after HSV-2 inoculation. Acyclovir alone was effective only when begun on day 0, and antibody alone was effective when begun on or before day 2. Only combination therapy was effectiveon day 3, reducing mortality from 82% (14/17) in controls to 44% (7/16; P < .05). Combined therapy also significantly reduced the duration of skin, eye, and mouth disease and respiratory symptomsbut not recurrent disease.These data suggestthat addition of antibody therapy to acyclovir may improve the outcome of neonatal HSV disease.
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