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Clinical significance of igg avidity testing and other considerations in the diagnosis of congenital cytomegalovirus infection

Authors:Idris Abdullahi Nasir, Adamu Babayo, Muhammad Sagir Shehu
Int J Biol Med Res. 2016; 7(2): 5495-5501  |  PDF File


Prompt and accurate laboratory testing of pregnant women during their antenatal clinic days is necessary for detecting the presence, immunological responses against cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and to access the risk of transmitting the infection to their unborn fetuses. CMV is the most common viral pathogen with the greatest propensity for congenital transmission. Its clinical manifestations range from asymptomatic forms, sensorineural damages, severe fetal damage, and in rare cases, fetal death due to abortion. Most healthcare facilities in developing countries rely solely on anti-CMV IgM and IgG testing in diagnosing maternal CMV infections. However, the use of these parameters has some worrisome limitations especially cross-reaction with other viruses of the herpesviridae, elevated serum rheumatoid factor leading to false positive results and inability to categorically differentiate primary from nonprimary CMV infections thus inadequate to assess the risk of congenital transmission. In view of this, we sought to present this review of relevant published articles using extensive literature search made through PubMed, Scopus, Google scholar and HINARI on the concepts of motherto-fetus in-utero transmission of CMV and clinical significance of IgG avidity testing in diagnosis of congenital CMV (CCMV) infections. Findings from our review revealed that IgG avidity testing has frequently been utilized as to resolve dilemma associated with serodiagnosis of CMV infections mostly in developed societies. However there is paucity of information in regards to its use in developing countries. This could be a reason why most CCMV infections often go underdiagnosed in developing countries.