Postpartum varicella vaccination: is the vaccine virus excreted in breast milk?

Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative, Seattle, Washington 98101-1448, USA.
Obstetrics and Gynecology (Impact Factor: 4.8). 12/2003; 102(5 Pt 1):970-7. DOI: 10.1016/S0029-7844(03)00860-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To evaluate whether the varicella vaccine virus is detected in breast milk after vaccination of breast-feeding women and whether there is serologic evidence of exposure of the infant to varicella virus after maternal vaccination.
We enrolled women identified as varicella seronegative during routine prenatal screening at Group Health Cooperative. Participants received the first dose of varicella vaccine at least 6 weeks postpartum and the second dose at least 4 weeks later. They collected ten breast milk samples after each vaccine dose. Breast milk samples were tested for varicella zoster virus by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Serum specimens were collected from the mothers 1 month after each vaccine dose, and peripheral blood from their infants was collected onto filter spots 1 month after the mother's second dose. These samples were tested for varicella immunoglobulin (Ig) G by whole-virus enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), or by the more sensitive glycoprotein ELISA. When possible, filter spots from the infants were also tested by PCR for the presence of varicella zoster virus deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).
Twelve women were enrolled; all seroconverted after the first vaccine dose. Varicella DNA was not detected by PCR in any of the 217 postvaccination breast milk specimens. None of the infants was seropositive. Samples from six infants were tested for varicella zoster virus DNA by PCR, and all were negative.
We found no evidence of varicella vaccine virus excretion in breast milk. These findings suggest that postpartum vaccination of varicella-susceptible women need not be delayed because of breast-feeding.

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    ABSTRACT: The incidence of varicella is low in pregnant women, and estimated around 1/1000 pregnancies. Vaccination is the cornerstone of prevention, but is contraindicated during pregnancy. Varicella is more severe in pregnant women. The risk of viral pneumonia is not increased, but VZV-associated pneumonia is usually more severe in pregnant women. Infection between 0-20 WG is associated with a 2 % risk of congenital varicella syndrome. Infection between D-5 and D+2 of delivery is associated with high risk of severe neonatal infection. Non-immune pregnant women with significant exposure to VZV require post-exposure prophylaxis with specific anti-VZV immunoglobulins that should be administered ideally within 4 days post-exposure and maximum within 10 days of exposure. Anti-VZV immunoglobulins are available in France in the context of an approved expanded access to an investigational new drug. Pregnant women with varicella should receive within 24hours antiviral treatment based either on valaciclovir or, in case of severe infection, intravenous aciclovir. Both drugs were shown safe during pregnancy, even during the first trimester. Neonates born from mothers who developed varicella between D-5 and D+2 of delivery should also receive as soon as possible specific anti-VZV immunoglobulins.
    Presse medicale (Paris, France : 1983). 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background Healthcare workers (HCWs) have the potential for increased exposure to infectious disease resulting from the provision of patient care. Pregnancy can confer specific problems in some infections for the mother and her unborn child. Aims To discuss the viral infections encountered in the UK that constitute a particular risk to the pregnant HCW: human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, varicella-zoster virus, herpes simplex virus, human parvovirus B19, cytomegalovirus, rubella, measles, enteroviruses, mumps and influenza. Evidence for nosocomial transmission, clinical aspects specific to pregnancy, and recommendations to protect the pregnant HCW at work are included. Methods Medline, EMBASE and Pubmed were searched using a list of keywords specific to each viral infection, including ‘nosocomial’, ‘occupational’ and ‘healthcare workers’. References from the bibliographies of articles identified were reviewed for relevant material. Findings The evidence for increased risk in the healthcare setting for many of these infections, outside of outbreaks, is weak, possibly because of the application of standard protective infection control measures or because risk of community exposure is greater. The pregnant HCW should be advised on protective behaviour in both settings. Potential interventions include vaccination and reducing the likelihood of exposure through universal precautions, infection control and redeployment. Conclusion Protection of the pregnant HCW is the responsibility of the individual, antenatal care provider and employer, and is made possible through awareness of the risks and potential interventions both before and after exposure. If exposure occurs or if the HCW develops an infective illness, urgent specialist advice is required.
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