Dr. Ashlesha Kaushik is an American Board certified Pediatric Infectious Diseases Physician and Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Unity Point Health, and resident preceptor at Siouxland Medical Education Foundation, Sioux City, Iowa, United States. She was the Former Chief, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, Sanford Children’s Specialty Clinic and Hospital, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States.

Dr. Kaushik earned her Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at University of Texas Southwestern, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas at Dallas, Texas, United States.

She is certified in Healthcare Epidemiology, Infection Control and Antimicrobial Stewardship by the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).



Congenital infectious syndromes can be severe in the neonate with devastating consequences. Knowledge of accurate diagnosis and correct management of congenital infections is essential for neonatal practice and successful patient outcomes.  Congenital infections (infections in utero) are defined as infections acquired by the fetus transplacentally from an infected mother. These include toxoplasmosis, rubella, cytomegalovirus (CMV), syphilis, parvovirus, and newly described zikavirus. Perinatal infections are acquired during birth, and include infectious agents like HSV (Herpes simplex virus) and Hepatitis viruses. Clinical manifestations of congenital infections include growth retardation, cataracts, cardiac defects (PDA), blueberry muffin spots, hydrocephalus, generalized intracranial calcifications, chorioretinitis, microcephaly. Different clinical features characterizing the various infections described as “classic associations” have been identified. For diagnosing congenital infections, we should know when to screen the mother and/or the baby. Specific infections need specific diagnostic testing with serology and /or PCR. The main objectives of the presentation would be to distinguish the etiology and clinical features of congenital infections, review the diagnostic modalities for congenital infections, and to review plans of treatment for congenital infections. Knowledge of not only the clinical spectrum and features of congenital infections but the current recommendations for diagnosis and management of these infections including latest advancements is important and beneficial for physicians, specialists and neonatal practitioners. This is especially significant in the era of new and emerging infections.