Infectious diseases

Cytomegalovirus

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a member of the herpesvirus family and characteristically produces latent infection after primoinfection. It is an important agent of congenital infection and can produce life-threatening illness in transplant and AIDS patients. An active infection resulting from a primary or reactivated latent infection during pregnancy may be transmitted to the fetus or to the infant during birth. The children congenitally infected can have severe central nervous system damage. A primary infection in adults may be asymptomatic or result in various syndromes, inluding mononucleosis, hepatitis or pneumonitis.

Clinical characteristics: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the herpesviruses. This group of viruses includes the herpes simplex viruses, varicella-zoster virus (which causes chickenpox and shingles), and Epstein-Barr virus (which causes infectious mononucleosis, also known as mono). CMV is a common infection that is usually harmless. Once CMV is in a person's body, it stays there for life. Among every 100 adults in the United States, 50–80 are infected with CMV by the time they are 40 years old.

Most healthy children and adults infected with CMV have no symptoms and may not even know that they have been infected. Others may develop a mild illness when they get infected and have the following symptoms: fever, sore throat, fatigue, and swollen glands. But since these are also symptoms of other illnesses, most people don't realize that they have been infected with CMV.

CMV can cause serious disease in people with a weakened immune system.

Cytomegalovirus can also cause serious disease in babies who were infected with CMV before birth (referred to as congenital CMV infection). About 1 in 150 children is born with congenital CMV infection. And about 1 of every 5 children born with congenital CMV infection will develop permanent problems (such as hearing loss or developmental disabilities) due to the infection. Infants and children who are infected with CMV after birth rarely have symptoms or problems.

CMV is spread by close contact with a person who has the virus in his or her saliva, urine, or other body fluids. CMV can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her fetus during pregnancy.

Diagnosis: The presence of active CMV infection can be detected by serological methods, but have to be confirmed by using viral isolation or antigen or nucleic acids detection methods. ELISA is the most popular technique for serological diagnosis of CMV infections due to its high sensitivity and easy management.

Treatment: treatments against Chlamydia infections are based on antibiotic therapies.

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