Introduction. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), a member of the herpesvirus group, is a common agent of worldwide occurrence. About 50 to 80% of the adult population in Central Europe or North America are infected with HCMV (Onorato , 1985). Primary infections of children or adults usually remain without overt disease. Subsequent to initial infection, HCMV persists in the organism; the virus may be reactivated under conditions of immunosuppression, sometimes resulting in severe illness. HCMV can be transmitted by close personal contact and by blood transfusion (Adler, 1983) or organ transplantation (Pass , 1983). HCMV is frequently transmitted from mother to child, either or during the perinatal phase (Dworsky , 1983). Prenatal transmission often results in severe disturbance of development and disease that may become manifest at birth, such as thrombocytopaenia, hepatitis, splenomegaly and microcephaly (Stagno & Witley, 1985). Frequent late sequelae are hearing loss and mental retardation (Pass , 1980).


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