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Narrative Review

Vol. 20 No. 1 (2022)

Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection: Transmission, Diagnosis and Treatment.

DOI
https://doi.org/10.26443/mjm.v20i1.876
Submitted
April 6, 2021
Published
2021-10-01

Abstract

Introduction: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a linear, dsDNA virus that is regarded as the prototype of the Betaherpesvirinae subfamily of viruses. It has an established endemic status in certain locations around the globe, and is also reported to be the most prevalently occurring congenital infection in humans. Furthermore, Cytomegalovirus is notorious for being a persistent lifelong pathogen that poses a threat of reactivation as well.

Discussion: Congenital cytomegalovirus infection causes numerous ophthalmologic, and neurologic sequelae, and is also known for being the principal reason behind sensorineural hearing loss of non-genetic etiology in neonates. These symptoms, if present, may give rise to a premonition of congenital Cytomegalovirus disease, and so, a diagnosis can be established  through serology, radiology, and  PCR of salivary, urinary, or dried blood spot samples. Timely administration of ganciclovir or valganciclovir has proven to be effective in managing symptomatic cases of congenital CMV.

Conclusion: A well-timed delivery of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions is necessary to achieve healthy developmental outcomes for the neonate. Moreover, there is still  a need to study the role of antiviral therapy in silent cases since asymptomatic patients are at a risk of developing long-term clinical sequelae as well.

Relevance: An estimated 60-90% of women of child-bearing age get infected with Cytomegalovirus, and Congenital CMV disease is reported in 0.2-2.4% of all live births. Therefore, in order to develop effective screening and management protocols, it is vital to educate healthcare professionals regarding the various aspects of this congenital infection.

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