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Epidemiological studies of congenital cytomegalovirus infection


Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases. Supplementum 34: 1-36
Epidemiological studies of congenital cytomegalovirus infection
The frequency of congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections in a Swedish population was 0.5%. Of the congenitally infected infants, 20% had (usually mild) symptoms at birth; 29% of the symptomatic infants and 8% of the asymptomatic ones had neurological sequelae by age 6 mo.-4 yr (median 18 mo.). This is equivalent to a frequency of 0.06% in the general Swedish population or 60 Swedish infants a year, the majority of them with isolated hearing impairment. Of the pregnant women studied, 72% were seropositive to CMV. Of the seronegatives, 1.2% acquired a primary CMV infection after the 1st antenatal visit, which were usually performed late in trimester 1 or early in trimester 2. In 43% the primary infections were transmitted to the fetuses. Of the congenital infections diagnosed, 1/3 could be attributed to primary maternal infections. Secondary maternal infection was also transmitted to the fetuses; up to 2/3 of all the congenital infections could be attributed to secondary infections in the mothers. Infant disease occurred after both primary and secondary maternal infection. Primary maternal infection. Primary maternal infection in the 1st (or 2nd) trimester seemed to be the qualitatively most serious threat to the infant, but quantitatively the secondary maternal infections seemed to play an equally important role. Prospective CMV IgM and IgG analyses of maternal sera during early pregnancy would have predicted congenital CMV infection with neurological sequelae or fatal outcome in 25-50% of the cases diagnosed. There was little or no evidence that nurses are at a greater risk for acquiring CMV infection than other women.


Accession: 005375407

PMID: 6293047

DOI: 10.3109/inf.1982.14.suppl-34.01



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