Pathophysiology: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus that can infect anyone and found around the world, belongs to the viruses that can cause chickenpox, herpes, shingles, etc. CMV is also a major cause of morbidity and occasional mortality in new-born infants. People infected with CMV don't know that they've been infected and don't get sick. But fatal to babies infected with this virus and people with weak immune systems. In immunocompromised individuals, symptomatic disease usually manifests as a mononucleosis syndrome. Symptomatic CMV disease can affect almost every organ of the body, resulting in fever of unknown origin, pneumonia, hepatitis, encephalitis, myelitis, colitis, uveitis, retinitis, and neuropathy. Rarer manifestations of CMV infections in immunocompetent individuals include Guillain-Barre syndrome, meningoencephalitis, pericarditis, myocarditis, thrombocytopenia, and hemolytic anemia.
Treatment: Initially over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can help in relieving the symptoms of pain and fever, also drinking plenty of water for fever and sore throat, and to prevent dehydration. Antiviral treatment is used for immunocompromised individuals who have eye infections or life-threatening illnesses due to CMV. The drug of choice for prevention of CMV disease in solid-organ transplant patients is valganciclovir. Other than CMV retinitis, however, ganciclovir remains the mainstay of treatment, at least initially.
Statistics: There is a very high prevalence of cytomegalovirus antibodies among blood donors at the NBTS, with virtually all blood donors having been exposed to the virus. The extrapolated statistics of prevalence of cytomegalovirus in Canada are 16,253,937 of total population.
Major Research: Some of the major research on Cytomegalovirus is understand the pathogenic consequences of CMV placental infection and transmission, including the molecular and cellular changes induced by CMV replication. We particular look at CMV-induced cytokine changes in the placenta and the role these have in placental damage and adverse fetal outcomes.