Cytomegalovirus in pregnancy and the neonate

F1000Res. 2017 Feb 14:6:138. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.10276.1. eCollection 2017.


Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) remains a leading cause of disability in children. Understanding the pathogenesis of infection from the mother via the placenta to the neonate is crucial if we are to produce new interventions and provide supportive mechanisms to improve the outcome of congenitally infected children. In recent years, some major goals have been achieved, including the diagnosis of primary maternal CMV infection in pregnant women by using the anti-CMV IgG avidity test and the diagnosis and prognosis of foetal CMV infection by using polymerase chain reaction real-time tests to detect and quantify the virus in amniotic fluid. This review summarises recent advances in our understanding and highlights where challenges remain, especially in vaccine development and anti-viral therapy of the pregnant woman and the neonate. Currently, no therapeutic options during pregnancy are available except those undergoing clinical trials, whereas valganciclovir treatment is recommended for congenitally infected neonates with moderately to severely symptomatic disease.

Keywords: antiviral therapy; cytomegalovirus; pathogenesis; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

The author(s) declared that no grants were involved in supporting this work.