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Hum Immunol. 2004 May;65(5):410-5.

Congenital cytomegalovirus infection: recent advances in the diagnosis of maternal infection.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, St. Orsola Malpighi General Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.


In most European countries, pregnant women are tested for cytomegalovirus (CMV) during the first trimester of pregnancy. Within the last 5 years, European laboratories have made significant progress in solving diagnostic problems linked to infection in pregnancy. With advances in CMV serology, the presence of anti-CMV immunoglobulin (Ig)M detected by a screening test such as enzyme immunoassay, can be confirmed by blot, identifying pregnant women undergoing an active or recent infection. Furthermore, primary infections that were proven if a seroconversion was observed or suspected in the presence of IgM, can now be readily diagnosed by disclosing the presence of anti-CMV low avidity in IgM-positive mothers, greatly reducing the number of women who should be considered at risk of transmitting the virus. Virologic maternal tests are not enough to diagnose a recent primary maternal CMV infection and the detection or quantification of CMV in maternal blood does not seem to be associated with a higher risk for fetal infection. A cohort of 1520 pregnant women considered at risk of transmitting the virus were followed in a longitudinal study at the University of Bologna. Women were identified as part of routine CMV screening in several Italian regions and were IgM-positive for CMV. We documented IgG seroconversion in 83 women and 1437 were IgM-positive by commercial kit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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