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Semin Pediatr Infect Dis. 2002 Jul;13(3):196-204.

Development of cytomegalovirus vaccines: prospects for prevention of congenital CMV infection.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham, USA.


Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is an important cause of hearing, cognitive, and motor impairments that cannot be effectively prevented or treated by any current medical or public health interventions. A review of priorities for vaccine development by The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that a vaccine to prevent congenital CMV infection should be a top priority for the United States. Evidence from clinical studies indicates that immunity to CMV can reduce the frequency and severity of disease. Laboratory investigations have identified structural and nonstructural CMV proteins that play a key role in eliciting protective immunity. The rationale for development of a CMV vaccine has been strengthened further by studies in experimental animals demonstrating the ability of immunization with subunit vaccines to prevent disease and transplacental transmission of virus. At least 4 CMV vaccines are in clinical trials, and advances in biotechnology are paving the way for additional novel vaccines.

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