Cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibody level in the high risk newborns and in their mothers
A Jahan1, MM Hoque2, S Sharmin3, MAKA Chowdhury4
Background: Infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV), a herpesvirus, is very common
in human. Most children acquire CMV infection early in life, with adult seroprevalence
approaching 100% by early adulthood. Congenital CMV infection is diagnosed best by
identification of the virus from urine or saliva before 3 weeks of age. Most of the
infections occur in infants born to mothers with preexisting immunity. 90-95% of
these infections are inapparant; however, about 10% of the asymptomatic congenital
infections eventually manifest some degree of neurosensory disability.
Objective: This study is designed to see whether antibody titre level of CMV can
identify the newborn babies who are congenitally infected with CMV infection, who
have the possibility to develop neuro-disability in future.
Methods: This cross-sectional analytical study was done on high risk newborn babies
taken from the neonatal ward of Dhaka Shishu Hospital from December 2005 to
March 2006. Serum was collected within the first week of life from both the newborn
babies and from their respective mothers. ELISA test was administered for measuring
of both CMV IgM and IgG antibody titre level and compared.
Results: A total 45 newborn were taken for the study. Thirty (66.7%) were from
urban areas and 15(33.3%) from the rural areas. Male babies were 31(68.9%) and
female 14(31.1%). Twenty nine (64.4%) babies were born at full term and 16(35.6%)
were preterm and LBW. Fifteen (33.3%) of the babies had history of perinatal asphyxia
and 13(28.9%) had history of associated neonatal seizure. 3(6.7%) had congenital
anomaly. CMV IgG level was highly positive in all of the mothers and babies and the
titre level of babies were lower than that of their corresponding mothers. CMV IgM
antibody was positive in 5(11.1%) of the mothers and only 1(2.2%) baby had positive
IgM antibody level.
Conclusion: This study showed that the high risk newborn babies got high level of
CMV IgG antibody transplacentally from their mother. So high CMV IgG antibody
level could not be concluded as a marker of congenital infection in these high risk
newborn babies. At least paired sample for rising titre or other test( PCR or virus
culture) is necessary to confirm a recent CMV infection..
Key words: Cytomegalovirus infection, IgG antibody, congenital infection, high risk newborn