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[Human cytomegalovirus and congenital virus infection].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Universit├Ątsklinikum T├╝bingen, BRD.


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is the most common congenital virus infection. Nearly 85 years after Goodpasture defined the histopathological correlate of this virus infection as "cytomegal", many questions still await answers. Important progress in prenatal and postnatal diagnostics have contributed to a better understanding of the role of congenital HCMV infection as an important public health issue. It is possible today to distinguish maternal primary infection from reactivation. Using dried blood spots on Guthrie cards, prenatally acquired HCMV infection can be differentiated from postnatally via breast milk acquired HCMV infection of the neonate. In addition, long-term storage of Guthrie cards opens the door for retrospective epidemiological research on congenital HCMV infection. However, each new individual case of fetal damage by this virus dramatically reveals the limited efficacy of postnatal antiviral treatment efforts. A recent therapy option for the pregnant woman with HCMV primary infection using hyperimmunoglobulin opens new horizons. Until the availability of a vaccine, gynecologists, pediatricians and company medical personnel should inform seronegative pregnant women on routes of virus transmission and simple hygiene procedures to prevent congenital HCMV infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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