Congenital cytomegalovirus infection (cCMV) is a leading cause of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and neurodevelopmental disabilities in developed countries. Although high cCMV rates have been reported in populations with high seroprevalence, the cCMV prevalence in low/middle-income countries in Europe has not been defined.
To determine cytomegalovirus (CMV) seroprevalence and the cCMV prevalence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Between March 2010 and February 2019, 5222 sera samples from patients seen at the University Clinical Hospital Mostar were tested for CMV IgG. The cord blood samples collected from 2091 infants between July 2011 and January 2013 were analyzed for CMV IgG and CMV DNA. The cCMV prevalence was determined by testing saliva swabs from 1293 infants between November 2015 and October 2016.
The overall CMV IgG prevalence was 81.4% (95% confidence interval: 0.8–0.82). Significantly higher prevalence was observed among females (84.9%) than in males (77.0%), and the rate increased from 50.8% in the 1 to 5 years group to 97.7% in the group > 65 years old. Most cord blood samples (2091/1925, 92.1%) were CMV IgG positive, and 2 (0.1%) were CMV DNA positive. Of the 1293 saliva swabs, 8 (0.62%; 95% confidence interval: 0.3–1.2) were CMV positive. All 8 infected infants had asymptomatic cCMV, and none had SNHL at 18 months of age.
In a highly CMV seropositive population, the prevalence of cCMV was lower compared with that reported from other low/middle-income countries populations. None of the infected infants had symptomatic infection or SNHL at 18 months.