The Lancet Infectious Disease
Oct 2012 Volume 12 Number 10 p737 – 816 e1
Burden of disease associated with human cytomegalovirus and prospects for elimination by universal immunisation
Paul D Griffiths
Cytomegalovirus is the most frequent cause of intrauterine infection and the commonest infectious agent to affect allograft recipients, yet the virus is acknowledged rarely as an occupational hazard for women of childbearing age or as a nosocomial infection. The potential role of cytomegalovirus in hastening the death of patients with AIDS, elderly people, individuals admitted to intensive-care units, and the general population is not emphasised. Development of vaccines against this important human pathogen has been delayed by reluctance to initiate proof-of-concept studies, but after recent trials, protection is a distinct possibility.
Cytomegalovirus deserves to be eliminated from selected populations by means of universal immunisation as soon as suitable vaccines become licensed. This action should control disease in neonates and transplant recipients and could provide substantial additional benefits if other disease associations prove to be causal.