Hello! Its time for another Cytomegalovirus Time!
Recently, there has not been any outbreaks and that is a great relief. In addition, there are research ongoing to improve conditions of congenital CMV. The University of Alabama(UAB) has been awarded with $11.5 million to study asymptomatic congenital CMV and neonatal HSV.
Congenital CMV infection ,which I have mentioned in my previous posts, refers to infection in new born babies. Some new born would show effects such as microcephaly which is the abnormal smallness of head associated with incomplete development of the brain. However, most of the babies born with congenital CMV are usually asymptomatic and these babies will suffer the effects of the infection before getting proper treatment. Below is a picture comparison between the normal baby and a baby with microcephaly:
This study will explore the possibility of using valganciclovir, an oral drug, to improve the conditions of the infected babies. Valganciclovir works by inhibiting an enzyme called DNA polymerase in the virus. With this enzyme blocked, the targeted virus cannot multiply and survive and thus, controlling the infection.
How are they going to treat asymptomatic infections if they are asymptomatic?
Right now, there is a targeted screening program for identifying CMV and this will help in identifying the infected babies. Through this, more babies that are asymptomatic will be seen. This program actually works by doing a saliva test and is developed by Boppana and Fowler.
Is it safe to use valganciclovir on babies?
Yes, it is safe to use valganciclovir on babies. Valganciclovir has been used for pediatric patients to prevent CMV infection after kidney/heart transplant.
Will this treatment work? Can valganciclovir help improve the conditions of the babies? As of right now, we can only wait and see the results of the research UAB is doing. Hopefully this will work and more will be free from the CMV infection.
Thank you once again for visiting! See you next time!