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  • 1 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunobiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
  • 2 Dóm tér 10, H-6720, Szeged, Hungary
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Abstract

Primary and recurrent infections of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) can occur during pregnancy. Both can result in congenital infection, the leading infectious cause of mental retardation, sensorineural deafness and visual impairment. The intrauterine transmission of HCMV and an adverse outcome are mainly related to a primary maternal infection. However, there is currently increasing evidence that the incidence of symptomatic infections in infants born to immune mothers is higher than previously thought. The option of a prenatal diagnosis therefore has a crucial role in the management of pregnancies complicated by active HCMV infection. In spite of the potentially devastating consequences of congenital HCMV infection, little information is available concerning antiviral therapy as prophylactic treatment for women at high risk of the transmission of HCMV during pregnancy. Passive immunization for the prevention of vertical transmission of the virus appears promising. Until a HCMV vaccine is available, education is needed regarding the risk involved and the strategies to be adopted for the prevention of HCMV infection during pregnancy.

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