Cytomegalovirus Infection in Pregnancy: Preliminary Findings From a Prospective Study

Lancet. 1983 Jun 18;1(8338):1352-5. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(83)92138-4.


8278 (56%) of 14 789 pregnant women who were screened for cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibodies at their first antenatal visit were seropositive. 42 (3 per 1000) infants screened were congenitally infected. 3 (7%) have serious handicaps, 14 (33%) have minor or transient problems, and 25 (60%) have so far had no problems. In 26 of the 42 mothers with infected infants CMV antibodies were present in the first antenatal blood sample. 28 (67%) of the infected infants were born to mothers who had experienced a primary infection in pregnancy and 7 (17%) to mothers who had experienced recurrent infection. In the remaining 7 (17%) it was not possible to determine the type of maternal infection. One handicapped infant was born after a probable recurrent CMV infection during pregnancy. These preliminary findings suggest that routine screening of pregnant women to detect evidence of primary CMV infection is not helpful.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • London
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / immunology
  • Prospective Studies


  • Antibodies, Viral