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Epidemiological survey of human cytomegalovirus antibody levels in children from Southeastern China

Qi Zhang123, Yan Gao123, Ying Peng235, Miao Fu4, Yan-Qing Liu123, Qiu-Ju Zhou123, Jian Yu1 and Xiao-Qun Zheng123*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Laboratory Medicine, The Second Affiliated Hospital & Yuying Children’s Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China

2 School of Laboratory Medicine, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China

3 Key Laboratory of Laboratory Medicine, Ministry of Education, Wenzhou, China

4 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Jinhua Municipal Central Hospital, Jinhua, Zhejiang, China

5 Present adress: University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA

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Virology Journal 2014, 11:123  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-11-123

Published: 4 July 2014



This study investigated infection status and distribution of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) serum markers in hospitalized children from the Wenzhou region.


This survey was performed on 10,147 hospitalized children from birth to 14 years of age in Southeastern China (Wenzhou region) from March 2010 to March 2013. IgM and IgG antibodies to HCMV were quantitatively detected by chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA). HCMV IgM or IgG detection rates, concentration, and distribution in various age groups were retrospectively analyzed.


In this study of hospitalized children, the overall rates of HCMV IgM+ and IgG+ were 10.8% (1,099/10,147) and 83.0% (8,425/10,147), respectively. The lowest HCMV IgM+ rate (1.0%, P < 0.001) was observed in the group of patients <28 days of age whereas the highest HCMV IgM+ rate (19.9%, P < 0.001) occurred in the 28 days ~ 5 months old group. However, the concentrations of HCMV specific IgM in all age groups were not significantly different (P > 0.05). The HCMV IgG+ rate was highest in the <28 days group (98.1%, P < 0.001). The 28 days ~ 5 months old group had the lowest HCMV specific IgG concentrations (median, 133.9 AU/mL, P < 0.001). Among 1,099 HCMV IgM+ children, 405 (36.9%) were diagnosed with respiratory infections which pneumonia accounted for 18.2% (200/1,099) of the total population. However, children with respiratory infections had the lowest HCMV IgG concentrations (median, 161.1 AU/mL, P < 0.05).


HCMV specific antibody responses are very common in hospitalized children with respiratory infection in Wenzhou region. Protection against HCMV airway infection needs greater emphasis and further studies will be helpful to reveal the role of HCMV in children respiratory disease.

Human cytomegalovirus; Chemiluminescence immunoassay; Southeastern China; Child