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Ross SA, Kimberlin D. Clinical outcome and the role of antivirals in congenital cytomegalovirus infection. Antiviral Res. 2021 Jul;191:105083.

Congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) infection is a leading cause of hearing loss and neurological disabilities in children worldwide. Although a minority of infants with cCMV will have symptoms at a birth, these children are at high risk of long-term sequelae. Most infants with cCMV have no clinical signs at birth (asymptomatic), but 10-15% will develop hearing loss. The diagnosis of cCMV relies on detection of the virus from urine or saliva within the first three weeks of life, with saliva PCR being the preferred method due to ease of collection and high sensitivity of the assay. Measures to prevent mother-to-child transmission of CMV are limited, and antiviral therapy with valganciclovir for 6 months is the standard of care for infants with symptomatic cCMV. As more infants with cCMV are being identified through newborn screening, studies are urgently needed to address antiviral treatment in asymptomatic infants and the implementation of prevention strategies to prevent fetal infection.

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