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Arch Dis Child. 1978 Jul;53(7):536-9.

Congenital cytomegalovirus infection in newborn infants of mothers infected before pregnancy.


The rate of congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection was studied in newborn infants in an African population in which all adults had experienced primary CMV infection during childhood. Viruria within the first 12 hours after delivery was taken as evidence of prenatal CMV infection. 28 of 2032 newborn infants examined had viruria, giving a rate of 1.4% congenital CMV infection. The presence of meternal serum antibody therefore appears not to protect the fetus from intrauterine infection. Either reactivation of latent maternal CMV infection or recurrence of infection during pregnancy despite the presence of serum antibodies may explain these findings. Whether the long-term effects of CMV infection acquired in utero differ in cases of primary maternal infection from those due to reactivated or recurrent infection in seropositive mothers, remains undecided. Thus, the value of a live CMV vaccine to prevent prenatal CMV infection may be questioned.

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