How is cytomegalovirus (CMV) prevented?

Updated: Jul 07, 2021
  • Author: Ricardo Cedeno-Mendoza, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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See Medical Care for a discussion about early treatment versus prophylaxis with ganciclovir.

Other drugs have been used for CMV prophylaxis, but none is as effective as valganciclovir (drug of choice) [2] or ganciclovir. Acyclovir and valacyclovir have been used for prophylaxis and early treatment in allogeneic marrow transplant recipients. Acyclovir has also been used in recipients of other types of transplants.

CMV remains the most common viral cause of severe disease in the transplant population, with significant associated morbidity and mortality. This, together with the issue of drug treatment toxicities and drug interactions, makes the development of a successful vaccine a high priority. [81] A CMV glycoprotein-B vaccine containing an MF59 adjuvant is currently in a phase 2 randomized placebo-controlled trial in transplant recipients. [82]

Congenital CMV infection is an important cause of hearing, cognitive, and motor impairments in newborns. A phase 2, placebo-controlled, randomized, double blind trial by Pass et al (2009) evaluated a recombinant CMV vaccine (envelope glycoprotein B with MF59 adjuvant). Three doses of the CMV vaccine or placebo were administered at 0, 1, and 6 months to 464 CMV-seronegative women within 1 year after they had given birth. After a minimum follow-up period of 1 year, 49 confirmed CMV infections were reported—18 in the vaccine group and 31 in the placebo group. One infant in the vaccine group was found to have congenital CMV infection, while 3 infants from the placebo group were infected. Ongoing research continues to evaluate the potential for a CMV vaccine to decrease maternal and congenital CMV infection. [83]

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