Antenatal viral infections can be major causes of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Viral infections can be transmitted transplacentally, as well as perinatally from infected blood or vaginal secretions. Furthermore, it is possible for mother-to-child transmission to occur postnatally, for example, from breastfeeding.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is an endemic DNA herpes virus and is the most common congenital infection.1 CMV is transmitted through contact with body fluids. This includes transplacental transmission, as well as transmission through breast milk.
Seroprevalence in developed countries is around 50%. Primary infection in immunocompetent adults is usually asymptomatic.1 However, viral shedding may continue for a few months in adults, and in children this may last for years after a primary infection.1
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