Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Updates on Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Though many people have never heard of CMV, approximately 1 in 150 children is born with congenital CMV infection (CDCP, 2006). The following article discusses some of the screening tests used to detect CMV, their accuracy, and analysis of the results of some recent studies regarding CMV detection.

Blood Test Misses Most Deafness-Causing Infections

Adding a dried blood spot DNA test for cytomegalovirus (CMV) to routine newborn screening wouldn't identify most babies with this major cause of childhood hearing loss, researchers found.

In a large prospective study, this approach -- using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods -- missed two-thirds of CMV infections, compared with the standard saliva rapid culture assay.

The low sensitivity suggested the test has no place in large-scale screening, Suresh B. Boppana, MD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues concluded in the April 14 Journal of the American Medical Association.

Universal newborn screening has been useful in combating many disorders, including phenylketonuria (PKU), but the tactic requires both an accurate test and a good strategy to prevent the consequences among children who test positive, commented James F. Bale, Jr., MD, of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

The blood spot test for CMV isn't necessarily a faulty method, he wrote in an accompanying editorial. Instead, the results "suggest that not all infants with congenital CMV infection remain viremic at birth," he wrote.

The saliva test, too, is inadequate for mass screening, being both time consuming and expensive, Bale noted.

To read the full article, click here.

Original publication site:
By Crystal Phend, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Published: April 14, 2010

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