New developments in the diagnosis of maternal and congenital CMV infection

Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2001 May;1(1):19-29. doi: 10.1586/14737159.1.1.19.


Recent advances in the screening of pregnant women with Cytomegalovirus (CMV) IgM, CMV IgG and CMV IgG avidity serologic tests, has led to a more accurate diagnosis of CMV infection. When serologic screening is performed early in gestation, it is possible to identify those women at risk of intrauterine transmission of the virus, i.e., those women with a primary CMV infection, who should be enrolled in prenatal diagnosis. The use of quantitative PCR on amniotic fluid from pregnant women at 21-22 weeks of gestation in prenatal diagnosis is an effective diagnostic tool to distinguish between CMV infection and CMV disease in the fetus and newborn. Quantitative PCR on peripheral blood leukocytes from CMV infected newborns can be used to monitor viral load, especially during treatment with ganciclovir. These advances in serology and quantitative virology should lead to more accurate diagnosis of maternal and congenital CMV infection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibody Affinity
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology
  • Cytomegalovirus / isolation & purification*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / congenital
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / immunology
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Fetal Diseases / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / diagnosis*
  • Prenatal Diagnosis*


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M