Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a highly species-specific DNA virus belonging to the Betaherpesvirinae subfamily of the herpesviridae family. Like other herpesviruses, primary infection with HCMV is followed by persistence of the virus in a latent form. The sites of latency are still largely undefined, but they probably include bone marrow progenitor cells and peripheral blood monocytes. From these sites, the virus can reactivate, resulting in renewed shedding of the virus, or, in immunocompromized persons, development of disease. Humans are the only reservoir of HCMV and transmission occurs by person-to-person contact. Infection with HCMV is common. In most developed countries, HCMV seroprevalence steadily increases after infancy and 10-20% of children are infected before puberty. In adults, the prevalence of antibodies ranges from 40 to 100%. Although HCMV has a world-wide distribution, infection with HCMV is more common in the developing countries and in areas of low socioeconomic conditions, which is predominantly related to the closeness of contacts within these populations. Except for a mononucleosis-like illness in some persons, infection with HCMV rarely causes disease in immunocompetent individuals. However, HCMV can cause severe morbidity and mortality in congenitally infected newborns and immunocompromized patients, most notably transplant-recipients and HIV-infected persons. This article provides a review of the information presented at the Second International Symposium on Cytomegalovirus organized and convened by The Macrae Group (New York City, NY) in Acapulco, Mexico on 24-28 April 1998. During this symposium, the state-of-the-art knowledge on diagnosis, treatment and prophylaxis of HCMV infections were discussed, and, based on this information, attempts to highlight the future directions in basic and clinical research areas that need to be stimulated to facilitate advancement in prevention and treatment of CMV disease. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.
- Human cytomegalovirus
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