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Semin Perinatol. 2007 Feb;31(1):10-8.

Recent advances in the prevention and treatment of congenital cytomegalovirus infections.

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Department of Pediatrics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia Campus, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.


Continued but slow progress has led to recent advances in our understanding that congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection has occurred. We understand that the most severe congenital disease occurs following a primary maternal infection during pregnancy. We now have the ability to accurately diagnosis a primary maternal infection using serologic studies of single serum sample. For pregnant women with young children, we know that child-to-mother CMV transmission can probably be prevented by hygienic intervention, and that for pregnant women who have acquired a primary CMV infection, mother-to-fetal transmission is probably preventable using CMV hyperimmune globulin. Although additional studies are needed, treatment of congenitally infected fetuses or newborns should be possible using either CMV hyperimmune globulin or antiviral agents such as ganciclovir or its derivates. Finally, recent evidence indicates that CMV replicates in the placenta, impairs development, and causes inflammation and dysfunction. This plus the reversibility of many manifestations of congenital infection in the fetus and newborn indicate that congenital CMV disease is in part a syndrome of placental insufficiency.

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