Brenna Hughes, MD, MSc, explains why we need more effective options for congenital CMV.
Segment Description: Brenna Hughes, MD, MSc, Division Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Duke University, discusses the development of more effective options to prevent congenital CMV.
Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):
Contagion®: Why do we need to work to develop more effective options to prevent congenital CMV?
Hughes: Congenital CMV is one of the most prevalent congenital infections in the world. It is associated with the risk of deafness, developmental disability, and unfortunately as an obstetrician we often see even stillbirth and fetal death related to congenital infection. There really are no effective treatments during pregnancy and no known prevention measures at this point that have been shown to be effective enough to really roll out across the nation or across the world. There is no existing CMV vaccine, which would be major potential public health benefits. We don't have that at this point. And we also don't have any in utero treatment options for infected fetuses. So, we still have a lot of work to do on prevention of congenital CMB, as well as potential treatment options both in utero and postnatally for congenital CMV treatment.
Contagion®: Is there anything else that you want to include?
Hughes: The one thing that I would say that was a takeaway from doing this trial was that we actually had to screen over 200,000 women to be able to find this rate of primary infection which is many more patients screened than we had anticipated. And one of the things that we need to think of as a CMV community going forward is the potential to not only focus on primary CMV infection during pregnancy, but also women who are seropositive during pregnancy, and attempts to decrease the rate of congenital infection among those women as well.