Cytomegalovirus, is in fact more common than Down’s syndrome, toxoplasmosis, spina bifida and cystic fibrosis - Paul Griffiths


image by: National CMV Foundation

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How cytomegalovirus evades the immune system

The human immune system is a large and complex beast, but in general it has two roles. Firstly, to prevent an infection from causing any harm and secondly to protect the body against a repeat attack. For many diseases protection against reinfection happens very efficiently, and this is the principle on which vaccines are based. By exposing your body to a non-harmful sample of the disease your immune system can built up resistance.

For cytomegalovirus however the immune system seems mysteriously unable to protect against reinfection, which is a major problem for the design and development of working vaccines.

Cytomegalovirus (hereafter referred to as CMV which is easier to spell)…

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 How cytomegalovirus evades the immune system

Cytomegalovirus (hereafter referred to as CMV which is easier to spell) is a type of herpes-virus that are often not deadly for healthy patients, but can be dangerous for people with a compromised immune system. It can cause massive problems in pregnancy and is one of the major causes of congenital diseases including childhood deafness and neurological disorders.

CMV Action

We offer advice and support to anyone affected by Congenital CMV. We can put families in touch with each other if they have similar issues or are in the same locality. We can advocate for families affected by cCMV and support them in ensuring they receive.


The story of baby girl "Gili" and her life with Congenital Cytomegalovirus.

How Life Happens

A blog about life, love and raising two daughters - one with a profound hearing loss and cerebral palsy from a CMV exposure in utero.

National CMV Foundation

At the National CMV Foundation, we work to inform and educate others on specific prevention measures to protect against the risk of CMV infection. Congenital CMV is the most common viral infection that infants are born with in the United States, occurring in about 1 in 200 births. Because CMV is a silent disease – meaning most people who are infected have no signs of symptoms (asymptomatic) – the mother is likely unaware she has CMV during her pregnancy.


You may be able to lessen your risk of getting CMV by reducing contact with saliva and urine from babies and young children. The saliva and urine of children with CMV have high amounts of the virus. You can avoid getting a child’s saliva in your mouth by, for example, not sharing food, utensils, or cups with a child. Also, you should wash your hands after changing diapers. These cannot eliminate your risk of getting CMV, but may lessen the chances of getting it.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus that can infect almost anyone. Most people don't know they have CMV because it rarely causes symptoms. However, if you're pregnant or have a weakened immune system, CMV is cause for concern.


Typically after years of infection with the virus, symptoms begin to appear that reflect a decreasing immune function due to a decline in the number of CD4 T cells. Some of the opportunistic infections that can occur are cytomegalovirus infection, cryptococcal meningitis, Cryptosporidium diarrhea, Pneumocystic jiroveci pneumonia (previously called Pneumocystic carinii pneumonia or PCP), Toxoplasma encephalitis, tuberculosis, and herpesvirus infections.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus found around the world. It is related to the viruses that cause chickenpox and infectious mononucleosis (mono). Between 50 percent and 80 percent of adults in the United States have had a CMV infection by age 40. Once CMV is in a person's body, it stays there for life. CMV is spread through close contact with body fluids. Most people with CMV don't get sick and don't know that they've been infected. But infection with the virus can be serious in babies and people with weak immune systems. If a woman gets CMV when she is pregnant, she can pass it on to her baby. Usually the babies do not have health problems. But some babies can develop lifelong disabilities.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus that belongs to the herpes family of viruses. It's spread through bodily fluids, such as saliva and urine, and can be passed on through close contact with young children, such as when changing nappies. CMV can also be passed on through kissing, having sex, or receiving an infected organ during an organ transplant.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a member of the herpesvirus family. Infection is worldwide and usually asymptomatic. CMV may cause a mononucleosis infection in healthy individuals but can cause severe illness in congenital infection and in an immunocompromised host. The most common disease manifestation is gastrointestinal disease. CMV pneumonia is the most serious complication, but has become less common with prevention strategies for at-risk patients. Rare manifestations include retinitis and encephalitis. CMV also has an immunosuppressive effect, which can lead to an increased susceptibility to invasive bacterial and fungal disease as well as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).

Simple Test For Babies Could Help Spot A Virus That Damages Hearing

Babies who are born infected with cytomegalovirus, a common virus, can suffer permanent hearing loss, but newborns aren't routinely tested to see if they have it. That could change if a pediatrician at the University of Alabama in Birmingham has his way. He's the leader on a new study that found that a simple saliva test can identify babies at risk. But testing all babies for cytomegalovirus is probably not going to happen anytime soon.


CMV infects between 60% to 70% of adults in industrialized countries and close to 100% in emerging countries. Of all herpes viruses, CMV harbors the largest number of genes dedicated to evading innate and adaptive immunity in the host. CMV represents a lifelong burden of antigenic T-cell surveillance and immune dysfunction. Congenital CMV is a leading infectious cause of deafness, learning disabilities, and intellectual disability.

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