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Human cytomegalovirus infection in pregnant women and neonates: A new risk factor for cardiovascular disease?

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a member of the herpes virus family which may cause significant morbidity inimmunocompromisedpatients, including neonates. No vaccine exists for HCMV but appropriate hygienic precautions can limit the spread of the virus to mothers and, subsequently, neonates. Neonatal HCMV has been associated with congenital birth defects while HCMV infection of healthy adults may cause a mild mononucleosis. Recent evidence suggests that HCMV infection may be associated with vascular cell proliferation and increased arterial blood pressure. This commentary questions whether neonatal HCMV infection is a new risk factor for heart disease.

Author(s): John A. Blaho

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