Onset of valganciclovir resistance in two infants with congenital cytomegalovirus infection

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Ganciclovir and its prodrug valganciclovir are elective treatments for cCMV. Neonates with important symptoms undergo 6 months of therapy to ameliorate/prevent symptoms and late sequelae, but evidence of resistance is emerging. Over the last 5 years, we took care of 59 cCMV infants and experienced two cases of resistance among nine cCMV infants receiving long-term valganciclovir therapy. In the first case, valganciclovir therapy was prolonged beyond 6 months due to severity of symptoms, control of viral load, and absence of adverse events. Resistance was detected in the 8th month of therapy. In the second case, after a significant reduction following valganciclovir administration and no adverse events, CMV viral load suddenly increased in the 6th month of therapy due to resistance. Both events were associated with UL97 gene mutation. The cCMV infants, affected by severe symptoms, remained in a steady state during treatment, and their later neurological development was coherent with initial seriousness of diagnosis. Prolonged therapeutic exposure may therefore be a risk for resistance, suggesting that constant dosage/weight adjustments, monthly surveillance of viral load, and therapeutic drug monitoring could be proposed to monitor resistance onset and optimize the therapy regime. The risk–benefit ratio for long-term therapy, including the possibility of resistance onset, alongside SNHL and neurodevelopmental improvement, should also be evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-152
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Congenital cytomegalovirus
  • Long-term therapy
  • Resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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