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Scand J Infect Dis. 2008;40(11-12):935-42. doi: 10.1080/00365540802308431.

Congenital CMV infection: prevalence in newborns and the impact on hearing deficit.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Microbiology, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden.


Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is asymptomatic in 90% of infected newborns but approximately 10-20% of these infants are at risk of developing sequelae later, mostly hearing deficit. The aims of the study were to investigate the prevalence of congenital CMV infection in a Swedish population of newborns and investigate the relative risk of hearing deficit in newborns with congenital CMV infection. The dried blood spot (DBS) samples of 6060 newborns in southern Stockholm during 12 months (October 2003-June 2004; August 2004-October 2004) were analysed for CMV DNA by TaqMan based real-time PCR. Hearing deficit was assessed by otoacoustic emission (OAE) within a newborn screening programme. 12 infants out of 6060 or 0.2% (95% CI 0.1-0.3%) had congenital CMV infection. One boy among the 12 infected infants had unilateral hearing loss, indicating that the risk of hearing loss is greatly increased (about 20 times) in CMV infected infants. No child developed ocular complications such as chorioretinopathy during 3 y of follow-up. Congenital CMV has an impact on child health but can easily be overlooked due to lack of signs in the neonatal period. Surveillance for congenital CMV is important in addition to programmes for prevention and treatment.

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