Trends in congenital cytomegalovirus: A review of current screening methods and prevention strategies

Francine H. Tvrdy, Troy Johnson, Jeff Hoffman, Julie A. Honaker, Stephen J. Boney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the leading causes of congenital sensorineural hearing loss. Currently, 40,000 infants in the United States are infected annually with CMV, and of these 40,000 infants, upward of 6000 infants will develop sensorineural hearing loss. Most of these infants will go undetected for congenital hearing loss by a newborn screening program, due to having late-onset or progressive hearing loss. An efficient CMV screening program of newborns will help to identify those infected and at risk for developing sensorineural hearing loss. Also, it will allow close monitoring of these infants for maximum speech and language development. Reliable methods are needed for an effective CMV screening program. Because the dried blood spot (DBS) sample is routinely collected at birth for metabolic screenings, there is growing interest to adapt this as the universal screening method. However, sensitivity of the DBS in detecting CMV has varied, and recent evidence has shown it less reliable than urine or saliva analysis. Further research is needed to develop the most efficient, reliable, and cost-effective programs. Models such as the Quebec metabolic screening program may ensure earlier identification of CMV. We are closer to a means of prophylactic prevention with a CMV vaccine; however, increased patient education of CMV prevention by health care professionals, including audiologists, is the current best practice for reducing the incidence of CMV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-331
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Hearing
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011


  • Cytomegalovirus
  • congenital sensorineural hearing loss
  • dried blood spot
  • prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing

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