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Prenatal acquired cytomegalovirus infection should be considered in children with autism.

Journal article
Authors Mona-Lisa Engman
Mikael Sundin
Carmela Miniscalco
Joakim Westerlund
Ilona Lewensohn-Fuchs
Christopher Gillberg
Elisabeth Fernell
Published in Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992)
Volume 104
Issue 8
Pages 792–795
ISSN 1651-2227
Publication year 2015
Published at Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre
Pages 792–795
Language en
Keywords Autism; Congenital cytomegalovirus infection; Dried blood spots; Intellectual disability
Subject categories Child and adolescent psychiatry


AIM: The aim of the study was to evaluate the prevalence of congenital cytomegalovirus infection (CMV) in a representative sample of children with autism spectrum disorder. METHODS: In a representative group of 115 preschool children with autism spectrum disorder, of whom 33 also had intellectual disability, the dried blood spots from the newborn metabolic screening were analysed for CMV DNA using TaqMan-polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: One of the 33 children with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability - 3% of that group - had congenital CMV infection. The corresponding prevalence in newborn infants in Sweden is 0.2%. None of the 82 children without intellectual disability had congenital CMV. CONCLUSION: The finding lends some further support for congenital CMV being one of the many aetiologies underlying autism spectrum disorder with intellectual disability. The rate of 3% of congenital CMV in children with autism spectrum disorder with intellectual disability has implications for the medical work-up. The finding of congenital CMV also indicates the need for repeated hearing assessments in the child. There is a need for similar studies with much larger samples. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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