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Infection. 1992 May-Jun;20(3):155-7.

Laboratory diagnosis of congenital human cytomegalovirus infection using polymerase chain reaction and shell vial culture.

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Abteilung f├╝r Medizinische Virologie, Universit├Ątskliniken Frankfurt, Germany.


Congenital HCMV infection was diagnosed at the 22th week of gestation. The infection was suspected because HCMV IgM was detected in a serum sample obtained from the woman's husband. HCMV infection was detected in the amniotic fluid by polymerase chain reaction, shell vial culture (immunoperoxidase assay) and conventional virus isolation. Serologic testing in paired sera of the woman and in umbilical cord blood for specific IgM and IgA remained negative. As serological data (preconceptional HCMV serostatus) were incomplete, a clear differentiation between primary and secondary infection could not be achieved; consequently, risk quantification could not be determined. Viruria was detected in the offspring during the 1st week post partum. No clinical signs of cytomegalic inclusion disease were diagnosed up to six weeks post partum. Our case report indicates that for pregnancy surveillance, serologic testing for HCMV antibody should also be performed in the spouse.

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