Development and Application of a PCR-Based Method Including an Internal Control for Diagnosis of Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection


American Society for Microbiology


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most common cause of congenital infection in the developed world. We have designed and evaluated an assay that includes an internal control for amplification and detection of CMV DNA in amniotic fluid and neonatal urine samples. We present data on the use of this assay in the diagnosis of congenital CMV infection. A total of 145 amniotic and fetal fluid samples were examined by this assay; 83 were from healthy pregnant women and 62 were from women who were being investigated because of concerns over the pregnancy (diagnostic group). CMV DNA was detected in three amniotic fluid samples from the diagnostic group but was not detected in any samples taken from healthy pregnant women. Thirty-nine urine samples were obtained from 19 neonates with suspected congenital infection; CMV DNA was detected in urine from 6 of these patients. The assay provides useful information about CMV infection in the fetus and the neonate; when used in conjunction with other diagnostic tools it will enable mothers and obstetricians to make informed decisions about the management of pregnancies complicated by CMV infection.

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