Cytomegalovirus results

You can catch cytomegaly in exactly the same way as a common cold. It also has the same non-specific symptoms as a seasonal infection. The lack of typical expression of the disease means that cytomegaly is detected in 90% of cases only after the onset of severe symptoms. If you suspect cytomegalovirus infection, ask your doctor for a referral for additional blood tests. Privately, the cost of such a study is about PLN 50. Considering how serious the consequences of the disease can be (especially for a pregnant woman), it is worth choosing an additional test: cytomegalovirus test, in which the titers of IgG and IgM antibodies are measured.

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1. Cytomegalovirus infection

Cytomegalovirus infection is common in the population. Antiviral antibodies are found in the blood in approximately 30-90% of people. Cytomegalovirus infection most often occurs through sexual contact and through droplets (respiration). In healthy people, the infection is usually asymptomatic or limited to the occurrence of non-specific flu-like symptoms, which may be accompanied by enlargement of the spleen and liver. In most cases, cytomegaly is mild and resolves spontaneously (no specialist treatment is required). Supportive symptomatic treatment, such as administration of anti-pyretics, is sometimes helpful. Cytomegaly in pregnancy is very dangerous for the fetus. Cytomegalovirus infection can also be dangerous for immunocompromised people, such as those suffering from AIDS or cancer.

Among pregnant women in Europe, the presence of cytomegalovirus at the beginning of pregnancy is found in 45% of cases. Such widespread occurrence of cytomegalovirus in the human population is due to the easy spread of infection: through contact with the patient's saliva, through urine, semen, vaginal secretions, as a result of infected blood transfusions, after organ transplants. Most often, CMV infection occurs during childhood, e.g. in a nursery or kindergarten, or during adolescence. Cases of congenital cytomegalovirus in adolescent pregnant women are relatively common. Cytomegalovirus is the most common cause of intrauterine infection in the fetus.

The consequences of cytomegalovirus infection in the fetus may be: disorders and delays in the mental development of the child, learning difficulties, hearing impairment, visual impairment. The fetus is most likely infected during primary CMV infection in a pregnant woman through the barrier of capillaries and intercaval spaces. The groups at high risk of having a child with congenital cytomegaly include: young mothers, women working in trade, teachers, nurses and kindergartens. The greatest risk of cytomegalovirus in the newborn is when primary CMV infection in a pregnant woman is dated to the 20th week of pregnancy.

2. Interpretation of the results of cytomegalovirus tests

The diagnosis of cytomegaly in pregnant women is based on the study of IgG and IgM antibody titers. If IgM antibodies are present in the blood serum, which can survive up to one and a half years after the primary infection, and there is a significant increase in IgG antibodies, this indicates the presence of primary virus infection. The sensitivity of the method reaches 99%. The presence of antibodies in a woman a few months before pregnancy indicates that she has cytomegalovirus. The present antibodies protect it from reinfection and make intrauterine infection of the fetus unlikely.

IgM antibodiesless than 0.70,7-0,9more than 0.9IgG antibodiesless than 4.04,0-6,0greater than 6.0Scorenegative (negative)doubtfulpositive (positive)
  • IgG (-), IgM (-) ---> no infection,
  • IgG (-), IgM (+) ---> fresh infection,
  • IgG (+), IgM (+) ---> fully developed disease,
  • IgG (+), IgM (-) ---> post-disease state, acquired immunity.

The treatment of cytomegaly in pregnant women has not yet been developed. There is constant debate over the use of the antiviral drug gancyclovir, but its effects are questionable. A major breakthrough in the treatment of cytomegaly would be the development of an effective vaccine.

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