Author(s): Chen MH, Chen PC, Jeng SF, Hsieh CJ, Su FC
AIM: The living style, health-care system and socio-economic environments have changed substantially in Taiwan over past 20 years. This study was aimed to estimate the current perinatal cytomegalovirus (CMV) seroprevalence in northern Taiwan. METHODS: In a Taiwan Birth Panel Study, 483 pairs of mothers and neonates were prospectively recruited from one tertiary medical center, one local hospital, and two obstetric clinics located in northern Taiwan from April 2004 through January 2005. Sera of their paired maternal and cord blood were tested by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method for CMV IgG and IgM antibodies. Additional data were collected for health measures and epidemiological characteristics through trained interviewers utilising structured questionnaires. RESULTS: Among 483 mothers studied, 93% were Taiwanese, 6.4% were immigrants from the south-eastern Asia and Mainland China, and 0.6% was aborigines. The seropositive rate of CMV IgG and IgM among the mothers was 91.1% and 3.5%, respectively. The immigrant mothers and the mothers younger than 20 years of age had a higher IgM seroprevalence (P < 0.05). Furthermore, 90.8% of the offspring had CMV IgG seropositivity and yet none of the neonates were CMV IgM positive. CONCLUSION: The seroprevalence of CMV among childbearing women is high in northern Taiwan. The immigrant mothers and the teenage mothers appear to have higher seropositivity of CMV IgM.