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Open Access Research

Kinetics of IgG antibody to cytomegalovirus (CMV) after birth and seroprevalence of anti-CMV IgG in Chinese children

Jie Chen1, Lingqing Hu2, Meiling Wu1, Tianying Zhong3, Yi-Hua Zhou45* and Yali Hu15*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Jiangsu, China

2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wuxi Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Jiangsu, China

3 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Nanjing Children’s Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Jiangsu, China

4 Departments of Experimental Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, Nanjing University Medical School, Jiangsu, China

5 Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Molecular Medicine, Nanjing University Medical School, Jiangsu, China

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Virology Journal 2012, 9:304  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-304

Published: 10 December 2012

Abstract

Background

Prevalence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is 90–100% in developing countries; however, the kinetics of anti-CMV IgG in infants remains elusive.

Methods

Sera from 112 mother-newborn pairs and longitudinal samples from 41 infants up to 2-year old were tested for anti-CMV IgG and IgM. Additionally, samples from 837 healthy children were included.

Results

Of 112 mothers, 108 (96.4%) were anti-CMV IgG positive; their 108 newborns were also seropositive. In a 2-year follow-up among 40 infants of positive mothers, anti-CMV IgG level in 8 individuals decreased with time and became undetectable by age of 3.5–8 months, and that in 32 others decreased at 1- and 3.5-month old, and then increased. Based on the positive IgM, rising IgG levels, and low anti-CMV IgG avidity index, 76.7% of the primary infections were demonstrated to occur during 1–3.5 months of age. The overall seroprevalence of anti-CMV in 837 children was 82.4%, which was generally constant from 2 to 8 years old (χ2 = 3.150, p = 0.790).

Conclusions

The maternally acquired anti-CMV IgG in infants disappears before 8-month old. Primary CMV infection in Chinese children mostly occurs during 1–3.5 months of age. Whether the relatively lower seroprevalence of anti-CMV in Chinese children found in this survey may reflect the positive rate in child-bearing age women in the future remains to be further studied.

Keywords:
Cytomegalovirus; Anti-CMV IgG; Kinetics; Primary infection; Children