Congenital cytomegalovirus is the most frequent, yet under-recognised, infectious cause of newborn malformation in developed countries. Despite its clinical and public health importance, questions remain regarding the best diagnostic methods for identifying maternal and neonatal infection, and regarding optimal prevention and therapeutic strategies for infected mothers and neonates. The absence of guidelines impairs global efforts to decrease the effect of congenital cytomegalovirus. Data in the literature suggest that congenital cytomegalovirus infection remains a research priority, but data are yet to be translated into clinical practice. An informal International Congenital Cytomegalovirus Recommendations Group was convened in 2015 to address these questions and to provide recommendations for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. On the basis of consensus discussions and a review of the literature, we do not support universal screening of mothers and the routine use of cytomegalovirus immunoglobulin for prophylaxis or treatment of infected mothers. However, treatment guidelines for infected neonates were recommended. Consideration must be given to universal neonatal screening for cytomegalovirus to facilitate early detection and intervention for sensorineural hearing loss and developmental delay, where appropriate. The group agreed that education and prevention strategies for mothers were beneficial, and that recommendations will need continual updating as further data become available.
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