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Journal of Perinatal Medicine

Official Journal of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Dudenhausen, MD, FRCOG, Joachim W.

Ed. by Bancalari, Eduardo / Chappelle, Joseph / Chervenak, Frank A. / D'Addario , Vincenzo / Genc, Mehmet R. / Greenough, Anne / Grunebaum, Amos / Konje, Justin C. / Kurjak M.D., Asim / Romero, Roberto / Zalud, MD PhD, Ivica

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Volume 44, Issue 5


Vertically transmitted cytomegalovirus infection in newborn preterm infants

Carla Balcells
  • Neonatology Service, ICGON, BCNatal, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Barcelona University, Barcelona, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Francesc Botet
  • Corresponding author
  • Neonatology Service, Hospital Clínic, ICGON, BCNatal, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Sabino de Arana 1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Sònia Gayete
  • Neonatology Service, ICGON, BCNatal, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Barcelona University, Barcelona, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ M Ángeles Marcos
  • ISGlobal, Barcelona Ctr. Int. Health Res. (CRESIB), Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Barcelona University, Barcelona, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Izaskun Dorronsoro / Concepción de Alba / Josep Figueras-Aloy
  • Neonatology Service, ICGON, BCNatal, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Barcelona University, Barcelona, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Castrillo Study Group
Published Online: 2016-02-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpm-2015-0325


Objective: To determine the epidemiology of congenital and acquired cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections in preterm infants and to analyze the efficacy of breast milk freezing in decreasing the vertical transmission rate of CMV.

Study design: During 2013 and 2014, preterm newborns who weighed ≤1500 g and were admitted to 22 Spanish neonatal units were included and screened for CMV infection according to the Spanish Neonatology Society recommendations. Each hospital treated the breast milk according to its own protocols.

Results: Among the 1236 preterm neonates included, 10 had a congenital infection (0.8%) and 49 had an acquired infection (4.0%) (82% demonstrated positive PCR-CMV in breast milk). The neonates who received only frozen milk presented less frequently with acquired infection (1.2%) than those fed fresh milk (5.5%) (RR=0.22; 95% CI 0.05–0.90; P=0.017). The newborns who received bank milk followed by frozen or fresh breast milk more frequently had an acquired infection (2.1% or 2.2%, respectively) than those fed only frozen breast milk.

Conclusions: The incidence of congenital CMV infection in our sample is low, as described in the literature. To reduce acquired CMV infection, freezing breast milk might be an advisable procedure for preterm neonates born from seropositive mothers, either from the beginning of lactation or after a period of bank milk administration.

Keywords: Breast milk; congenital cytomegalovirus; cytomegalovirus; frozen breast milk; infant newborn; preterm newborn


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About the article

Corresponding author: Dr. Francesc Botet, Neonatology Service, Hospital Clínic, ICGON, BCNatal, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Sabino de Arana 1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain, E-mail:

Received: 2015-09-21

Accepted: 2016-01-06

Published Online: 2016-02-04

Published in Print: 2016-07-01

The authors stated that there are no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this article.

Citation Information: Journal of Perinatal Medicine, Volume 44, Issue 5, Pages 485–490, ISSN (Online) 1619-3997, ISSN (Print) 0300-5577, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpm-2015-0325.

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