Neonatal screening for congenital cytomegalovirus infection in Tehran, Iran, using Guthrie cards
Background and Objectives: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) constitutes the most common viral cause of congenital infections in newborns worldwide. There are a significant number of asymptomatic newborns with congenital CMV infection in Iran, which may develop long-term sequelae of infection. Unfortunately, limited data exsists from Iran on the rate of congenital CMV infection among neonates. The current study was aimed to investigate the prevalence of congenital CMV infection among Iranian neonates by testing Guthrie cards.
Materials and Methods: Guthrie cards were collected from infants within 2 weeks of life, and total DNA was extracted from samples by thermal shock and evaluated for CMV DNA using nested-PCR assay. CMV infection in newborns was confirmed through a commercial CMV PCR kit. Infected infants underwent further evaluation at the hospital.
Results: CMV infection was identified in four of 1174 infants (0.34%) which is approximately 3 cases per 1000 live births. Infected infants were asymptomatic at birth and had a normal hearing status similar to other children. There were no factors in relation with CMV infection among newborns.
Conclusion: According to the results of this study, infected infants with congenital CMV infection could identify at early stage by testing Guthrie cards (within 21 days of life). Furthermore, since there is a lack of CMV knowledge in our population, educating and effective counseling by obstetricians/ gynecologists to the pregnant women are recommended.
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