Cytomegalovirus pneumonia of infants in Africa: a narrative literature review

Future Microbiol. 2021 Dec:16:1401-1414. doi: 10.2217/fmb-2021-0147. Epub 2021 Nov 23.


Cytomegalovirus pneumonia has repeatedly been described in the context of HIV-exposed uninfected and HIV-infected infants. Despite its significant role in the etiology of childhood pneumonia, there is still a paucity of literature generally, and specifically in Africa, suggesting that it might be a neglected disease. Emerging evidence highlights the importance of postnatal transmission through breastmilk. The pathogenetic significance of the multiplicity of strains acquired through repeated re-infections in early infancy is unknown. The development of cheap, accurate diagnostic tools and safe, effective antivirals and the maintenance of effective prevention and treatment of pediatric HIV are needed to manage cytomegalovirus pneumonia in low-resource settings.

Keywords: CMV; HIV-exposed uninfected; early infancy; multiple strains; pneumonitis; postnatal transmission.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections* / drug therapy
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections* / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control
  • Pneumonia*