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- Member of Betaherpesviridae, double-stranded DNA virus with envelope; viral DNA polymerase is target for antivirals. Histology reveals large basophilic intranuclear ’owl’s eye’ and intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies.
- Transmission via saliva, blood, semen, cervical secretions, breast milk, urine, or feces.
- Latency established after infection. 60-100% seroprevalence. As high as 90-100% seroprevalence in HIV+ individuals. High-frequency of CMV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ memory T cells circulating in blood.
- Reactivation of latent infection increases w/ advancing immune suppression and is responsible for most HIV-related disease.
- Persistent immune activation and chronic inflammation due to HIV may be modified by CMV infection.
- Recent studies detail contribution of CMV to immune activation and non-AIDS-defining events, such as malignancy, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events, nonvascular neurologic diseases, and ESRD, in HIV+ adults.