Dried blood spots PCR assays to screen congenital cytomegalovirus infection: a meta-analysis

Virol J. 2015 Apr 14;12:60. doi: 10.1186/s12985-015-0281-9.


The performance of dried blood spots (DBS) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays in screening for congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) infection varies between different studies. To determine whether the DBS PCR assay has sufficient accuracy to be used as a screening test for cCMV infection, we performed a meta-analysis of 15 studies (n = 26007 neonates) that evaluated the performance of DBS PCR tests in screening for cCMV infection and that met our inclusion criteria. The pooled sensitivity and specificity were 0.844 (95% CI = 0.812-0.872) and 0.999 (95% CI = 0.998-0.999), respectively, and the diagnostic odds ratio was 1362.10 (95%CI = 566.91-3272.60). As sensitivity analysis showed that the results were robust. In conclusion, the performance of DBS PCR assays for testing cCMV was more suitable for retrospective diagnosis than screening.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytomegalovirus / classification
  • Cytomegalovirus / genetics
  • Cytomegalovirus / isolation & purification*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / blood
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / congenital*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / virology*
  • Dried Blood Spot Testing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies