2018-07-25Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.25646/5670
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) seroprevalence in the adult population of Germany
Background: Infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV) remains asymptomatic in most immunocompetent hosts, but is the leading cause of congenital viral infection worldwide and can be life-threatening in immunocompromised individuals. We aimed to assess CMV seroprevalence in a nationally representative sample of adults in Germany and to identify sociodemographic factors associated with CMV seropositivity. Methods: Blood samples from 6552 participants (18–79 years) of the “German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998”, a population-based sample of the adult population in Germany, were tested for the presence of CMV antibodies using an Ig-multiplex assay. Weighted seroprevalence was calculated and weighted binomial regression was used to identify factors associated with CMV seropositivity. Results: Overall CMV seroprevalence was 56.7% (95%CI: 54.8–58.7%), with a higher seroprevalence in women (62.3%) than in men (51.0%). Seroprevalence increased with age: from 31.8% to 63.7% in men and from 44.1% to 77.6% in women when comparing the 18–29 with the 70–79 year age-group, respectively. CMV seroprevalence in women of childbearing age (18–45 years) was 51.7%. Factors significantly associated with CMV seropositivity were age, country of birth, smoking status, education, living in northern Germany and number of household members. In addition, having attended child care was associated with seropositivity in men, and number of siblings and living in East Germany in women. Conclusion: Our results indicate that half the women of childbearing age were susceptible for primary CMV infection during pregnancy. CMV screening during pregnancy and informing seronegative women about CMV risk reduction measures could prevent congenital CMV infections with its serious consequences.
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