Should we routinely screen for cytomegalovirus antibody during pregnancy?

Intervirology. 1998;41(4-5):158-62. doi: 10.1159/000024930.


In order to evaluate the usefulness of cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibody screening during pregnancy, women attending for antenatal care at the Antoine Béclère Hospital (Clamart, France) were prospectively studied during 22 months (1995-1996). Forty-five percent of these women were CMV-seropositive. Twenty suspected or confirmed CMV primary infections were detected. Nine infected infants were born to these women. All infected infants are now between 10 months and 2.5 years old. They all are asymptomatic even those who initially presented abnormal biological parameters or slightly abnormal ultrasound scans during fetal life. Presently, screening for CMV antibody cannot be recommended because it induces economic, psychological and ethical problems. Furthermore, there is no efficient and safe treatment available so far. However, we do think that large studies must be performed to increase our knowledge about the natural history of intrauterine CMV infection. This is also important for an improved assessment of the value of ultrasound examination results as well as the biological parameters measured in fetal blood samples.

MeSH terms

  • Amniotic Fluid / virology
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / congenital*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Infant
  • Mass Screening
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / virology
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Prospective Studies


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G