Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the most common causes of congenital infection without an effective treatment or an effective vaccine available to date. The emphasis has to be on preventive strategies, which rely on the epidemiological situation. The incidence of congenital CMV infections, however, is not known for The Netherlands. Therefore, a prospective virological study was carried out in a population of 7,524 pregnant women and 7,793 newborns. CMV-specific IgG antibodies were determined in cord blood by ELISA. When CMV antibodies were present, a CMV specific PCR was performed on the throat swab. A positive PCR was confirmed by urine culture. In addition, the seroepidemiology for CMV was investigated in the metropolitan region (Amsterdam and Rotterdam) which has a different ethnic composition. Congenital CMV infection was found in 7 infants (0.9 per 1,000). None had symptoms at birth or during 24 month follow-up. Carriage or CMV was 41%, with a variation between 35% and 100% depending on ethnicity. The ethnic composition in the southeastern region was different from that in large cities, but similar to that in the rest of the country. The incidence of congenital CMV infections in The Netherlands is the lowest described to date, which does not justify special preventive policies.

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Journal of Medical Virology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Gaytant, M., Galama, J., Semmekrot, B., Melchers, W., Sporken, J., Oosterbaan, H., … Steegers, E. (2005). The incidence of congenital cytomegalovirus infections in The Netherlands. Journal of Medical Virology, 76(1), 71–75. doi:10.1002/jmv.20325