Cytomegalovirus is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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MICROBIOLOGY

  • Ubiquitous, large, enveloped dsDNA betaherpesvirus; establishes lifelong latency after primary infection.
  • Transmitted sexually or by close contact, blood or tissue exposure, perinatally. Cultured from urine, blood, throat, tears, stool, cervix, semen, breast milk.
  • Seroprevalence increases with age. Adult seroprevalence rates range from 40-100% and are highest in developing countries.
  • Exhibits slow growth in cultured cells (can be up to 6 weeks until cytopathic effect is detected in tissue culture) and cytopathology is characterized by large cells with nuclear (Cowdry owl’s eye) and cytoplasmic inclusions.
  • Isolation of virus or detection of viral proteins or nucleic acid defines CMV infection. Presence of signs/symptoms of end organ disease + CMV infection = CMV disease.

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Last updated: June 25, 2012