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Prevention of Maternal and Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection


Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology: June 2012 - Volume 55 - Issue 2 - p 521–530
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e3182510b7b
Prevention of Infection in the Obstetric Patient

Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is an important cause of hearing impairment, mental retardation, and cerebral palsy. Principal sources of infection during pregnancy are young children and intimate contacts. Prevention of maternal and congenital CMV infection depends on counseling women regarding the sources of infection and hygienic measures that might prevent infection. There is currently insufficient evidence to support use of antiviral treatment or passive immunization for postexposure prophylaxis of pregnant women or as a maternal treatment aimed at preventing fetal infection. Vaccines for CMV are under development but it will be a number of years before one is licensed.

*Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women and Infants Hospital/Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island;

Department of Pediatrics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama

J.J. has nothing to declare. B.A. receives research funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) K23 HD062340-01 and has no conflicts to declare. R.F.P. has received funding from the National Institutes of Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases (U01-AI063565) and from Sanofi Pasteur and is a consultant to Astellas, Merck, and the State of Montana Attorney General’s office.

Correspondence: Robert F. Pass, MD, Children’s Hospital Suite 108, 1600 7th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.