A 4-month-old boy with prenatally diagnosed Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome became ill with a severe cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, the outcome of which was fatal. The parents had isolated the infant from other children and adhered to standards of hygiene in order to avoid CMV infection because their first child had died of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome and CMV infection. The mother breast-fed her child although she was CMV IgG positive. The source of infection was most probably breast milk, which contained CMV at the time the infant developed the generalized CMV infection.
Conclusion: In infants with immunodeficiency syndromes, CMV infection may have a fatal outcome. Since the virus can be transmitted by breast milk, the advantages and disadvantages of breast-feeding should, therefore, be weighed in newborn infants with an immunodeficiency syndrome whose mother is a CMV carrier.