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April 14, 2010

Screening Newborns for Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Division of Pediatric Neurology, Department of Pediatrics, the University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City.

JAMA. 2010;303(14):1425-1426. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.424

In this issue of JAMA, Boppana and colleagues1 describe their attempts to validate universal screening methods for congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, the most common congenital viral infection in the United States and many other regions, by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of newborn dried blood spots. Congenital CMV infection remains an important public health problem not only because it has accounted for as much or more disability over the past 50 years than was associated with congenital rubella syndrome, but also because CMV infection, whether symptomatic or silent at birth, represents the most common nongenetic cause of permanent hearing loss among children in the United States.2