CMV Infections in newborn babies

As we have stated earlier on, the cytomegalovirus can be transmitted already during pregnancy. However, a pregnant woman can infect her child also after birth (postnatal transmission). For healthy mature babies, an infection with the cytomegalovirus through the breast milk of an infected woman does not poses no danger. Premature infants, however, are at risk of getting an infection through breast milk because their immune system is not yet mature and the mother’s antibodies do not protect them sufficiently.

Treatment of congenital CMV infections

For infants with severe symptoms of a CMV infection, a treatment that inhibits the reproductive cycle of the virus may be indicated (ganciclovir). First evidence demonstrates that the treatment with this drug can stabilise the hearing of infected newborns already suffering from symptoms within the first year of life.

Nevertheless, a therapy for premature infants is not without controversy because the drug could also impair the health of the children.