Cytomegalovirus infection: the state of the art.

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Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the leading cause of congenital infection in humans and constitutes a major public health problem. Congenitally infected infants, both symptomatic and asymptomatic at birth, may develop sequelae, particularly sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and brain damage. Transmission of the virus from mother to fetus can occur during either primary or recurrent maternal infection; however it is much higher in primary infected mothers than in mothers with preconceptional immunity. Routine CMV screening for primary infection during pregnancy constitutes a controversial issue, because of the lack of prenatal recommended therapy for congenital CMV infection. Ganciclovir may be used to treat neonates with symptoms at birth. Despite advances in antiviral therapy, congenitally infected infants, both symptomatic and asymptomatic at birth, need a follow up evaluation to detect sequelae. Congenital CMV infection cna be diagnosed at birth by using a test based on detection of viral DNA by PCR in dried blood spots (Guthrie card) collected on filter paper in the first days of life. Therefore, universal newborn screening for CMV by using DBS test should be recommended to detect sequelae as early as possible, so that infants can receive intervention promptly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-48
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Chemotherapy
Volume19 Suppl 2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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