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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a congenital or perinatal infection?

A congenital or perinatal infection is an infection caused by a bacteria or virus that can be passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy (congenital) or delivery (perinatal).

The Congenital and Perinatal Infections Consortium (CPIC) aims to reduce the mobility and mortality of these rare vital infections: congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease, neonatal herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection, and neonatal viral sepsis caused by enteroviruses (EVs) and the related human parechoviruses (HPeVs). These viruses were selected as our areas of focus because of their pathogenic potential and the opportunities to intervene meaningfully with antiviral drugs to improve outcomes.

Though antiviral therapeutic agents already exist (CMV, HSV) or are in varying stages of clinical development (EV, HPeV), neonates and young infants still experience unacceptable consequences of these diseases, including developmental and motor delays, neurologic morbidity, visceral organ damage, hearing and vision loss, respiratory and cardiac complications, septic shock, and death.

The opportunity to ameliorate disease impact (or drastically decrease progression from infection to disease, for neonatal HSV) forms a common purpose among our sites and is the focus of our research projects. Visit our Research Studies page to learn more about current initiatives.

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The CPIC can contribute its unique understanding of these viral diseases and share both a time-tested research model and advanced pharmacometrics expertise. The expected outcomes will positively impact next steps in clinical research in determining the doses of new drugs to treat infected infants or exposed neonates, or by directly informing the trial design of the next series of treatment studies for congenital CMV or neonatal EV and HPeV sepsis.

In addition, our virology expertise can be of benefit to other RDCRN consortia. We are already partnering with the Primary Immune Deficiency Treatment Consortium (PIDTC) to run CMV virology samples for their study of this virus in infants with severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID).

The principal investigator for CPIC is David Kimberlin, MD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Their main contact is Jill Bailey-Griffin, RN, MSN, who can be reached at