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August 1974

A Cytomegalovirus Vaccine?

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Rochester, NY 14642

Am J Dis Child. 1974;128(2):141-142. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110270015002

In some respects human cytomegalovirus research has moved as slowly as the cytopathic effect of the agent in tissue culture. The first strains of virus were isolated independently in the mid 1950s by Smith,1 Rowe et al,2 and Weller et al.3 Now, 20 years later, we realize that these ubiquitous, cell-associated herpesviruses commonly threaten the development of the human central nervous system. There is evidence that the cytomegaloviruses reach the human fetus far more often than any other known infectious agents, and have a special propensity for producing a variety of adverse effects on the brain. In Rochester, NY,4 London,5 Cleveland,6 and Washington, DC,7 0.5% to 1.5% of infants are infected with the virus at birth.

It is not surprising, therefore, that two investigators in the field of cytomegalovirus research have concluded that an effort should be made to develop an immunizing agent