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Cytomegalovirus Infection in the North West of England

A Report on a Two-year Study*


The incidence and epidemiology of cytomegalovirus (CMV) in Manchester has been studied for two years. 36 cases of congenital infection were found. Over 90% of those detected in routine surveys or born without central nervous system disease have not shown any serious developmental defects following their virus infection and are progressing normally. Virus excretion was found in 3·2% of children admitted to hospital, but, except in cases with mental retardation (with or without symptoms of central nervous system disease) and with feeding problems, there was no definite relation between virus excretion and the clinical condition bringing them into hospital. Serological surveys of different groups in the population indicated that the majority of infections occurred in adolescence and early adulthood, that 40-45% of women of child-bearing age were not immune to CMV, and that 5% of blood donors were capable of transmitting infection to patients receiving blood transfusions. Virus was isolated from 5·2% of schoolchildren aged 5-6 years, from 0·4% of babies born in hospital, and from the cervix of 3-4% of women attending hospital clinics. In adults CMV infection was found to be associated sometimes with atypical glandular fever, hepatitis, and polyneuritis. Very close contact seems necessary for the spread of CMV.

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A Report on a Two-year Study*


  • * Dr. A. Holzel, Dr. S. I. Jacobs, Dr. J. Keen, Dr. W. H. Patterson, Dr. B. Wolman, at Booth Hall and Crumpsall Hospitals, Manchester, and Fairfield General Hospital, Bury, and Dr. B. Epstein, Dr. G. V. Feldman, Dr. Kathleen V. Lodge, Dr. N. M. Mann, Dr. D. Macaulay, at the Duchess of York, Withington and Wythenshawe Hospitals, Manchester, carried out the routine surveys of babies and children in hospital. Adults attending hospital clinics were seen by Dr. R. W. Burslem and Mr. J. B. Jones, Withington Hospital, Manchester, and Dr. P. S. Silver, Bolton. Girls on remand were seen by Dr. Jean L. Broughton, Manchester.

    Material from cases of congenital infection were also submitted by Dr. R. I. Mackay, Hope Hospital, Salford, Dr. Catherine M. White, Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, Dr. D. Hilton, Oldham and District General Hospital, Professor J. A. Davis, St. Mary's Hospital, Manchester, Dr. I. B. Sardharwalla, Park Hospital, Davyhulme, Dr. J. Lorber, Children's Hospital, Sheffield, Dr. A. F. Conchie, Dr. W. Gomes and Dr. M. W. Partington, Derbyshire Hospital for Sick Children, Derby, Dr. T. E. D. Beavan, Chester City Hospital, and Dr. J. M. Garvie, Manor Hospital, Walsall. Dr. T. H. Whitaker, University Department of Audiology, Manchester, tested many of these cases for hearing defects.

    The studies on infections following transfusion were conducted by Dr. D. I. K. Evans and Dr. G. Watson, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. Dr. P. J. L. Sequeira, Withington Hospital, and Dr. F. Stratton, Blood Transfusion Service, supplied many of the sera used in the serological studies. Specimens of urine from cases of infectious hepatitis and from schoolchildren were supplied by Dr. Kennedy Campbell, Medical Officer of Health, Manchester; Dr. E. C. Begg, Dr. M. Dakin, Dr. E. Fowler and Dr. S. L. Goodman were in charge of babies investigated in the residential homes.

    The laboratory work at the Public Health Laboratory, Manchester, was done at different times by Mr. G. Kampfner, F.I.M.L.T., Mrs. R. Siddall, A.I.M.L.T., Miss Y. Ashworth, Mrs. S. Joseph, Miss L. Owen, Mrs. E. Smith, and Mrs. A. T. Thompson.

    The report was prepared by Dr. Georgina H. Walker and Dr. J. O'H. Tobin, Public Health Laboratory, Withington Hospital, Manchester, M20 8LR.