Risks of CMV infection for unborn babies bigger than thought

Risks of CMV infection for unborn babies bigger than thought

If a pregnant woman has the cytomegalovirus (CMV) increases, the risks for the unborn child is larger than originally thought. A child can receive complaints with movement, speech, language, and the quality of life can be affected.

After earlier research focused on hearing loss and gross neurological defects, but from the phd project of Marjolein Korndewal in cooperation with the national Institute for public Health and the Environment (RIVM), would prove that the CMV infection more effects.

In the study, which was carried out in the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), were more than 30,000 hielprikkaarten examined of children up to six years old. From this hielprikkaarten can be formatted or these young children do indeed have a congenital CMV infection.


From the hielprikkaarten showed that 1 out of 200 Dutch children with a congenital CMV infection. This equates to almost 1000 children per year, of which a quarter are actually complaints, you will find. Ten to fifteen percent of the children with complaints has this already at birth, the other part follows this at a later age.

From the results of the investigation show that the consequences of a congenital CMV infection, when they occur, ranging.

Some children are born with a small head and brain dysfunction. In the long term, children may suffer from hearing loss and a developmental delay in the area of learning, movement, and speech and language.


CMV is a common herpes virus. More than half of the Dutch population has an infection with CMV. The virus is in the saliva and urine of young children. CVM gives to people who are infected usually have no symptoms and is therefore almost not noticed.

Congenital CMV infection can arise during the pregnancy, in which the virus is transferred from the mother to the unborn child. The pregnant find usually not will that this virus has incurred. When the virus is contracted, it remains lifelong in certain cells. Korndewal stressed that the virus only poses a risk when the virus is actually active during the pregnancy.


Korndewal calls, therefore, for the hielprikkaart to investigate in children who suffer from hearing loss. Therefore, the virus detected earlier. According to her, can be a congenital CMV infection, in some cases, be prevented. She advises pregnant women and women with a desire to share food, pacifiers, cups and cutlery with small children to avoid.

Also, hands should be properly washed after changing a plasluier. The virus can be in the saliva or urine of young children. The same message is also carried out by the RIVM. Also want to Korndewal more awareness among pregnant women and caregivers of this congenital infection and the impact this virus can have. It also calls for further research into effective vaccines.

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