Breast milk as a source for acquisition of cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in a premature infant with sepsis syndrome: Detection by real-time PCR

Benjamin T. Kerrey, Ardythe Morrow, Sheela Geraghty, Nanette Huey, Amy Sapsford, Mark R. Schleiss

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13 Scopus citations


Symptomatic disease due to human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been increasingly recognized in low birth weight (LBW) premature infants. Breast milk has been identified as a potential source for these infections. At approximately 60 days of life a LBW, premature infant was diagnosed with HCMV sepsis syndrome, prompting further investigation of the source for HCMV acquisition. The infant had received a combination of both fresh and frozen breast milk from his mother throughout his first 2 months of life. We utilized a real-time PCR assay for HCMV DNA to retrospectively examine viral genome copy number in serial samples of stored, frozen breast milk. This analysis indicated an increase in breast milk viral load over the first 45 days of life, heralding the HCMV sepsis syndrome that was observed clinically. Real-time PCR may be a useful tool in the evaluation of HCMV viral load in breast milk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-316
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Virology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006



  • Breast milk
  • Congenital CMV infection
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Neonatal viral infections
  • Premature infant
  • Real-time PCR
  • TORCH infections

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