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CMV Immunity Cuts Congenital Infection Risk.

MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES -- Maternal immunity to cytomegalovirus does decrease the risk of congenital infection, Dr. Robert F. Pass reported at the Second World Congress of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

The finding bolsters the rationale for developing cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccines, several of which show promise in phase I and II clinical trials, said Dr. Pass, professor of pediatrics and microbiology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

Congenital CMV is a leading cause of sensorineural hearing loss and brain damage in children in the United States.

Evidence that preconception maternal immunity does not prevent transmission of CMV to the fetus comes from observations that congenital CMV infection can occur in consecutive births to the same mother. And in countries in which there is near-universal acquisition of CMV prior to puberty, such as the Ivory Coast, there is still a high rate of congenital CMV infection.

But there is also evidence that maternal immunity can confer some, although no absolute, protection to the fetus.

Dr. Pass' study bolsters these findings. He and his associates looked at CMV infection among 3,397 mothers who gave birth during a recent 5-year period and had cord blood available from a previous pregnancy. They found 553 were seronegative when they previously delivered, and 142 of these women (26%) seroconverted by the time of their next delivery. The average time between deliveries was 30 months.

Among the 2,844 women who were immune to CMV at the time of their previous delivery, 1% had neonates born with congenital CMV infection following their pregnancy. Among the 553 who were not immune during their previous delivery, including those who later seroconverted and those who did not seroconvert, 3.26% had infants with congenital CMV infection, Dr. Pass reported.

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Title Annotation:cytomegalovirus
Comment:CMV Immunity Cuts Congenital Infection Risk.(cytomegalovirus)
Author:Baker, Barbara
Publication:Family Practice News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Mar 15, 2000
Words:288
Previous Article:Eradicating Group B Strep Before Delivery.
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