Neonatal screening for congenital cytomegalovirus infections.

Department of Neonatology, Academisch Ziekenhuis, Free University of Brussels, Belgium.
Journal of Perinatal Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.95). 02/1999; 27(2):116-21. DOI: 10.1515/JPM.1999.015
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We evaluated a screening program for the detection of congenital cytomegalovirus in 3075 unselected pregnant women. From each live-born child urine for CMV culture was collected within 7 days after birth. Each fetus expelled after a spontaneous second trimester abortion and each stillborn infant were also evaluated for a possible congenital CMV infection. For each congenital infection stored maternal sera were analysed to determine whether maternal infection was primary or recurrent. Fifteen out of the 3075 pregnancies studied resulted in a congenitally infected infant (0.49%). Nine maternal CMV infections were primary infections; five were recurrent infections, and in one case the type of infection could not be determined. Three congenital infections resulted in severe sequelae, leading to the termination of pregnancy in two instances and to neonatal death in one case. One of these severe fetal infections was due to a recurrent maternal infection. Follow-up of the other 12 neonates demonstrated hearing disorders in two children. One was born after a primary maternal infection and one after a recurrent maternal infection. We conclude that congenital CMV infections occurs in 0.49% of all pregnancies in the population studied. Twenty percent of the congenitally infected infants present severe sequelae at birth or during pregnancy, and an additional 17% have audiological deficits at 1 year of age. Severe sequelae may occur after both primary and recurrent maternal CMV infection.

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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: The prevalence of viral infections in the amniotic fluid (AF) has not yet been ascertained. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of specific viral nucleic acids in the AF and its relationship to pregnancy outcome. Study design: From a cohort of 847 consecutive women undergoing midtrimester amniocentesis, 729 cases were included in this study after exclusion of documented fetal anomalies, chromosomal abnormalities, unavailability of AF specimens and clinical outcomes. AF specimens were tested by quantitative real-time PCR for the presence of genome sequences of the following viruses: adenoviruses, herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella zoster virus (VZV), human herpesvirus 6 (HHV6), human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), parvovirus B19 and enteroviruses. Viral nucleic acid testing was also performed in maternal blood and cord blood in the population of women in whom AF was positive for viruses and in a control group of 29 women with AF negative for viral nucleic acids. The relationship between the presence of viruses and pregnancy and neonatal outcome was examined. The correlation between the presence of nucleic acids of viruses in the AF and the concentration of the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) and the T cell chemokine CXCL-10 (or IP-10) in AF and maternal blood were analyzed. Results: Viral genome sequences were found in 16 of 729 (2.2%) AF samples. HHV6 was the most commonly detected virus (7 cases, 1.0%), followed by HCMV (6 cases, 0.8%), parvovirus B19 (2 cases, 0.3%) and EBV (1 case, 0.1%), while HSV, VZV, enteroviruses and adenoviruses were not found in this cohort. Corresponding viral DNA was also detected in maternal blood of six out of seven women with HHV6-positive AF and in the umbilical cord plasma, which was available in one case. In contrast, viral DNA was not detected in maternal blood of women with AF positive for parvovirus B19, HCMV, EBV or of women with AF negative for viruses. HHV6 genome copy number in AF and maternal blood was consistent with genomic integration of viral DNA and genetic infection in all women. There was no significant difference in the AF concentration of IL-6 and IP-10 between patients with and without VIAC. However, for HCMV, there was a significant relationship between viral copy number and IP-10 concentration in maternal blood and AF. The group of women with AF positive for viral DNA delivered at term healthy neonates without complications in 14 out of 16 cases. In one case of HHV6 infection in the AF, the patient developed gestational hypertension at term, and in another case of HHV6 infection in the AF, the patient delivered at 33 weeks after preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM). Conclusion: Viral nucleic acids are detectable in 2.2% of AF samples obtained from asymptomatic women in the midtrimester. HHV6 was the most frequently detected virus in AF. Adenoviruses were not detected. Vertical transmission of HHV6 was demonstrated in one case.
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    ABSTRACT: Neurologic morbidity associated with congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a major public health concern. The pathogenesis of cerebral lesions remains unclear. We report the neuropathologic substrates, the immune response, and the cellular targets of CMV in 16 infected human fetal brains aged 23 to 28.5 gestational weeks. Nine cases were microcephalic, 10 had extensive cortical lesions, 8 had hippocampal abnormalities, and 5 cases showed infection of the olfactory bulb. The density of CMV-immunolabeled cells correlated with the presence of microcephaly and the extent of brain abnormalities. Innate and adaptive immune responses were present but did not react against all CMV-infected cells. Cytomegalovirus infected all cell types but showed higher tropism for stem cells/radial glial cells. The results indicate that 2 main factors influence the neuropathologic outcome at this stage: the density of CMV-positive cells and the tropism of CMV for stem/progenitor cells. This suggests that the large spectrum of CMV-induced brain abnormalities is caused not only by tissue destruction but also by the particular vulnerability of stem cells during early brain development. Florid infection of the hippocampus and the olfactory bulb may expose these patients to the risk of neurocognitive and sensorineural handicap even in cases of infection at late stages of gestation.
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