Call for CMV screening to prevent congenital defects
The call comes as Australian blood product manufacturer CSL announced it will donate CMV immunoglobulin to a US-based trial of an experimental intervention in cases of primary CMV infection in pregnancy.
Professor Bill Rawlinson, senior medical virologist at the University of NSW, said CMV affected 5.5 per 100,000 births annually in Australia, and was the leading cause of hearing and vision loss in newborns while “about one baby a week dies as a result of congenital CMV”.
“Some countries do screen, Australia does not screen,” Professor Rawlinson said.
“I think it is very important that we do some health and economic analysis of CMV screening to determine whether, at a population level, it is worthwhile.
“Whether you screen at a population level along with syphilis and hepatitis B screening, that’s something we really need more information about,” he said.