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Incidence and Clinical Manifestations of Breast Milk-Acquired Cytomegalovirus Infection in Low Birth Weight Infants



To determine the incidence and clinical manifestations of human breast milk (HMB)-associated acquired cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in small premature infants.


A prospective study of premature infants born at or prior to 32 weeks gestation, and or infants weighing 1500 g or less at birth. The babies were divided into two groups: Group 1 included babies of CMV seropositive mothers who received HBM throughout the study period. Group 2 included babies of seronegative mothers or babies that did not receive HBM at all. Urine sample were obtained once weekly from birth until the age of 8 weeks or until discharge and were tested for the presence of CMV-DNA by PCR.


Four of 70 infants from group 1 (5.7%, 95% CI, 0 to 11%) acquired CMV infection between the ages of 3 and 7 weeks as compared to none of 26 babies in group 2. Only one infected baby had severe CMV disease with complete recovery.


The relative incidence of HBM-associated CMV infection and the severity of HBM-associated CMV disease in premature infants are low.

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Miron, D., Brosilow, S., Felszer, K. et al. Incidence and Clinical Manifestations of Breast Milk-Acquired Cytomegalovirus Infection in Low Birth Weight Infants. J Perinatol 25, 299–303 (2005).

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