Video Abstract

Video Abstract

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OBJECTIVES

To identify independent predictors of and derive a risk score for invasive herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection.

METHODS

In this 23-center nested case-control study, we matched 149 infants with HSV to 1340 controls; all were ≤60 days old and had cerebrospinal fluid obtained within 24 hours of presentation or had HSV detected. The primary and secondary outcomes were invasive (disseminated or central nervous system) or any HSV infection, respectively.

RESULTS

Of all infants included, 90 (60.4%) had invasive and 59 (39.6%) had skin, eyes, and mouth disease. Predictors independently associated with invasive HSV included younger age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 9.1 [95% confidence interval (CI): 3.4–24.5] <14 and 6.4 [95% CI: 2.3 to 17.8] 14–28 days, respectively, compared with >28 days), prematurity (aOR: 2.3, 95% CI: 1.1 to 5.1), seizure at home (aOR: 6.1, 95% CI: 2.3 to 16.4), ill appearance (aOR: 4.2, 95% CI: 2.0 to 8.4), abnormal triage temperature (aOR: 2.9, 95% CI: 1.6 to 5.3), vesicular rash (aOR: 54.8, (95% CI: 16.6 to 180.9), thrombocytopenia (aOR: 4.4, 95% CI: 1.6 to 12.4), and cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis (aOR: 3.5, 95% CI: 1.2 to 10.0). These variables were transformed to derive the HSV risk score (point range 0–17). Infants with invasive HSV had a higher median score (6, interquartile range: 4–8) than those without invasive HSV (3, interquartile range: 1.5–4), with an area under the curve for invasive HSV disease of 0.85 (95% CI: 0.80–0.91). When using a cut-point of ≥3, the HSV risk score had a sensitivity of 95.6% (95% CI: 84.9% to 99.5%), specificity of 40.1% (95% CI: 36.8% to 43.6%), and positive likelihood ratio 1.60 (95% CI: 1.5 to 1.7) and negative likelihood ratio 0.11 (95% CI: 0.03 to 0.43).

CONCLUSIONS

A novel HSV risk score identified infants at extremely low risk for invasive HSV who may not require routine testing or empirical treatment.

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