Cytomegalovirus is also abbreviated to CMV and belongs to the group of herpes viruses. After an initial infection, CMV can remain latent in the body, allowing it to become active again. This infection does not cause any symptoms in most cases. In pregnant women who have an infection of CMV for the first time, it can harm the unborn child, in which case there is a small chance of congenital abnormalities. Some of the symptoms that may occur are flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat, fatigue and swollen glands.
After the initial infection, CMV spreads throughout the body. In both symptomatic and asymptomatic infection, the virus can be detected in white blood cells, salivary glands and kidneys. In a symptomatic infection, the liver, lungs and central nervous system are often also infected
To diagnose a CMV infection, an IgM and IgG determination is performed. This is mainly performed for the diagnosis of a recent primo-CMV infection in an immunocompetent person. The sensitivity of the IgM determination is high in the acute phase and the specificity depends on the test used. PCR is very sensitive and is therefore widely used today for the detection of viral DNA. virus detection by means of quantitative PCR is therefore mainly used for diagnostics in immunocompromised patients. The IE gene also plays a role in the detection of CMV by PCR. The IE gene is an important indicator of viral reactivation through latency. The moment reactivation takes place after CMV has been latent, the IE gene is detectable.
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