Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common human herpes virus. Once infected with CMV, the body retains the virus for life. In most healthy people CMV causes mild or no symptoms and most people are unaware of having had the infection. In individuals with an impaired immune system CMV can cause more severe disease and it can also cause problems for the developing foetus if a woman is infected with CMV when she is pregnant. This infection is called congenital CMV infection (cCMV) and can cause a range of problems for the baby.
At the PIDRG and SGVI, we have a special interest in studying CMV infection, particularly in pregnant women (maternal CMV infection) and their babies (cCMV infection). These studies have been sponsored by SGUL and external organisations. We have several studies focusing on CMV infection which are completed, ongoing, or in the pipeline, as described below:
- International ECCI cCMV registry
This is a database registry sponsored by SGUL through the European cCMV Initiative (ECCI), including children with cCMV infection from birth. Its aim is to collect important data such as developmental outcomes. Leadership for this registry has now been handed over to our Spanish colleagues at ECCI.
- Toddler Valgan
This was a randomised clinical trial sponsored by ( ) and funded by ( ), looking at the outcome of antiviral treatment with Valgancyclovir in children infected with cCMV infection, either to commence within the first month of life or beyond.
RACE FIT was a study investigating the impact of a digital educational intervention about CMV in pregnancy. This study, sponsored by SGUL and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), recruited women in early pregnancy who were more at risk of exposure to CMV because of living with a young child. Participants were randomised either to receive the educational intervention or to treatment as usual. Those in the educational intervention group increased their knowledge about CMV, had an increased understanding of the risks of CMV infection in pregnancy and had changed some of their day-to-day activities in keeping with the advice in the educational intervention. Women who had received the educational intervention did not have any increase in reported depression or anxiety.
This is an observational study sponsored by SGUL and funded by Merck Sharpe and Dohme, looking at the characteristics of CMV viral excretion in the bodily fluids, known as CMV shedding, in women during pregnancy who have previously been infected with CMV. – Please link the study to the current studies page