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A blood test that confirmed I had cytomegalovirus

Hi Alex, I am 15 weeks preg and about 2 weeks ago i had a blood test that confirmed i had cytomegalovirus, my dr seems very concerned and is talking about reffering me to the womans and childrens hospital, what are the chances of this transfering to my baby and the chances of this affecting my baby, will it be advised to terminate if my baby is found to have cmv? thanks heidi

Answer: Hi Heidi, Pregnant women who have previously been infected with CMV, do not necessarily have immunity against future CMV infections. However, the unborn baby is less likely to be affected if their mother has been previously infected. Testing for CMV during pregnancy is difficult. A blood test for IgG and IgM antibodies may show `positive` shortly after being infected, with the IgM disappearing several months later (the IgG antibody stays positive forever). If you test positive only for IgG, but not IgM, that means your infection happened more than several months ago. If you test positive for IgG and IgM, then your infection was more recent. A single high IgG level (or titre) does not show if the infection is new (primary), or a re-infection (secondary), but a rising titre shows the infection has been recent. It takes about 24-36 hours to get results. A current infection may also be detected through laboratory testing of a urine or saliva sample. So firstly you need to be sure that you were infected and if it was your first exposure to the disease and then diagnose if the baby has been infected. CMV infection is experienced by about 1 to 4% of pregnant women. Of these women, about 40 to 50% of babies become infected (about 1% of all births). This may lead to miscarriage or preterm birth or the baby being physically affected. There are many symptoms that can affect the baby and if there is definite proof that your baby has been infected then you may be advised your options to continue the pregnancy. If the baby has not been infected then the pregnancy can continue as normal. There are no treatments or vaccinations available for CMV. Best wishes, Alex
Answered: 29 Oct 2008