Lymphocyte responses and virus excretion as risk factors for intrauterine infection with cytomegalovirus

J Med Virol. 1993 Oct;41(2):108-13. doi: 10.1002/jmv.1890410205.


Serological screening of pregnant women in this and a previous study identified 28 cases of primary infection with cytomegalovirus, 7 (25%) of whom transmitted the infection to their fetuses. Risk factors for intrauterine infection were: 1) age less than 20 years, 2) Caucasian rather than non-Caucasian race, 3) a weak response to cytomegalovirus antigen in the lymphocyte transformation test, and 4) the excretion of cytomegalovirus in the urine. The greatest risk was when a weak lymphoproliferative response was detected in combination with a positive result for virus isolation, in which case the chance of fetal infection was 83%. Despite these associations, there was one important anomalous result of a woman who demonstrated a strong lymphocyte response during pregnancy and a negative result for virus isolation, but who gave birth to an infected baby who developed unilateral hearing loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology
  • Cytomegalovirus / isolation & purification
  • Cytomegalovirus / metabolism
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / congenital
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / immunology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / immunology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / microbiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Uterine Diseases / epidemiology
  • Uterine Diseases / immunology*
  • Uterine Diseases / microbiology