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Seroprevalence of cytomegalovirus infection in France in 2010

  • D. ANTONA (a1), A. LEPOUTRE (a1), L. FONTENEAU (a1), C. BAUDON (a1), F. HALFTERMEYER-ZHOU (a1), Y. LE STRAT (a1) and D. LÉVY-BRUHL (a1)...

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection remains the leading cause of congenital virus infection in developed countries. Measuring the national prevalence of this infection, especially among women of childbearing age, is of great value to estimate the risk of congenital CMV infection, as well as to identify risk groups that should be targeted for behavioural interventions and/or vaccination once a CMV vaccine finally becomes available. In order to fulfil these objectives, a seroprevalence survey was conducted in 2010, using a nationally representative, population-based sample of 2536 people aged between 15 and 49 years, living in metropolitan France and attending private microbiological laboratories for blood testing. All blood samples were analysed in the same laboratory and screened for CMV-specific IgG using an enzyme-linked immunoassay technique (Elisa PKS Medac Enzyme immunoassay). The overall point estimate of CMV infection seroprevalence for individuals aged 15–49 years was 41.9%. The estimates were higher in women than in men (respectively 45.6% and 39.3%), and people born in a non-Western country were more likely to be CMV seropositive than those born in France or in another Western country (93.7% vs. 37.7%). Our results showed that a substantial percentage of women of childbearing age in France are CMV seronegative and therefore at risk of primary CMV infection during pregnancy. Educational measures and future vaccine are key issues to prevent infection in pregnant women and congenital CMV disease.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr D. Antona, Santé publique France, Saint Maurice, France. (Email:
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Epidemiology & Infection
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