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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 135416, 4 pages
Research Article

Preconception Screening for Cytomegalovirus: An Effective Preventive Approach

1Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel
2Clalit Health Services, Jerusalem, Israel
3Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, Israel
4Departments of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Ein Kerem, Jerusalem, Israel

Received 20 March 2014; Accepted 7 May 2014; Published 12 June 2014

Academic Editor: Everett Magann

Copyright © 2014 Orna Reichman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the leading infectious cause of sensorineural hearing loss and delayed psychomotor development. Viral transmission to the fetus is far more likely to occur following a primary than a secondary maternal infection. Primary prevention seems to be the best means to reduce the burden of congenital CMV due to the lack of treatment options during pregnancy. We evaluated this approach on a cohort of 500 women planning pregnancy who attended our fertility clinic. Of the 444 who underwent CMV screening, 18 (4.1%) had positive IgM serology for CMV; of these, IgG avidity was high in 12 (remote infection) and low in 6 (recent infection). The latter were advised to delay pregnancy. All women who were seroimmune for CMV (366/444, 82.4%), including the 12 with remote infection, continued fertility treatment. The remaining patients (72/444, 16.2%), who were not immune to CMV at the initial screen, were advised to minimize CMV exposure by improving personal hygiene and to continue fertility treatment. None of the 69/72 (95.8%) women who were followed for one year were infected with CMV. Cytomegalovirus testing and counselling at preconception seemed effective in reducing CMV exposure in pregnancy.